Root Words: A Celebration & Discussion of African Literature

NY Afro Fest 2011 brought together culture, arts, literature, music (both popular and sacred), politics, dialogue, food and community in its celebration of the African Diaspora, and in recognition of the United Nation’s designation of 2011 as the international year for people of African Descent. The festival also coincides with the release of Afrobeat Journal’s second Issue, themed: African rhythms, roots, culture, in homage to Randy Weston.

The September 24th NY Afro Fest  event served up an exciting line up: a Literary Conference and live music performances. It will continue with live broadcast on WBAI 99.5 FM on Saturday Oct 1, 2011 of global African Sacred musics and African Art music. Buka New York Restaurant (946 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238) was co-host the September  24th event.

NY Afro Fest opened at BUKA with live music from Asiko Afrobeat’s pulsating sounds. Archive here: NY Afro Fest 2011: Afrobeat With Asiko

The Literary Conference followed, after the panel had to be moved  to wbai radio station  due to technical difficulties. The panel’s theme: Root Words: A Celebration & Discussion of African Literature. Our panelists are Catherine E. McKinley, author of Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World; Tanya Wright, author of Butterfly Rising, actress (HBO series True Blood) and director; Ngozi Achebe author of Onaedo – The Blacksmith’s Daughter; FitzGerald Chinemerem Ajoku author of “Continental Drift” The African, African American Experience and Marva Allen partner and CEO of Hue-Man Bookstore and Cafe in Harlem. Audio Archive here at the top.


The panel was moderated by the very able poet and writer Benjamin Hinson and assisted by Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of Harmattan Rain. The conference was pulled together by Nana Brew-Hammond author of Powder Necklace, Benjamin Hinson, Ayesha Harruna Attah and Afrobeatradio’s Wuyi Jacobs.

We then returned to BUKA to continue the festival with a wonderful performance by Tuelo el Bandimo: Audio Archive here: NY Afro Fest 2011: Tuelo le Badimo

The nights performances was concluded with an unbelievable performance by No Small Money Brass Band. Audio Archive here:

NY Afro Fest was a collaboration between AfrobeatRadio, WBAI and the Global Black Experience (Imhotep Gary Byrd).