African World Festival

The Charles H. Wright Museum
of African American History

African World Festival July 12th-14th

Thank you for joining us for the 41st annual African World Festival!

Culture. Family. Fun.

This July, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is proud to celebrate the 41st Annual African World Festival, hosted July 12th - 14th.

Join us at Hart Plaza for this 3-day celebration that highlights the beauty, strength, and spirit of the African Diaspora. We expect almost 20,000 people to enjoy our performances, vendors, food, clothing, health products, visual arts, live demonstrations, community resources and information, and much more!

Our gathering this year will highlight and represent our community and our shared past, present, and future. We look forward to exchanging stories and honoring where we've been and where we're going.

Get Your Tickets

AWF is free for all Charles H. Wright Museum members, so join today

Please note that online ticket sales are discounted and tickets purchased at the gate cost $5 more.

Tickets Purchased Online

$15 — Adult non-member

$10 — Non-member senior citizens age 65 and older

$10 — Non-member student over age 13

Free admission for all children under age 13

Tickets Purchased at Festival Entrance

$20 — Adult non-member

$15 — Non-member senior citizens age 65 and older

$15 — Non-member student over age 13

Weekend Passes Purchased Online

$35 — Adult non-member

$20 — Non-member senior citizens age 65 and older

$20 — Non-member student over age 13

Weekend Passes Purchased at Festival Entrance

$45 — Adult non-member

$25 — Non-member senior citizens age 65 and older

$25 — Non-member student over 13

 Buy Daily Tickets

Buy Your Weekend Pass



Check out the lineup for this year's African World Festival.

Explore the Schedule


Explore the Hart Plaza.

Festival Map


Members of The Wright get into the festival for free.

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Get answers to frequently asked questions about the festival.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get to Know the 2024 AWF Featured Headliners
  • Third World

    Performing a style described as “reggae-fusion" that combines elements of R&B, funk, pop, rock, dancehall, and rap, Third World is one of Jamaica's most popular crossover acts and has performed on six continents.
  • Rapsody

    Rapsody is an American rapper known for her intricate rhyme patterns, metaphors, and wordplay. She is often hailed as one of the best living lyricists in the hip-hop genre. Rapsody cites Jay-Z, Mos Def, Lauryn Hill, and MC Lyte as the biggest influences on her music.
  • Thandiswa Mazwai

    Thandiswa has been one of the most influential post-Apartheid singers in South Africa. After six award-winning albums with Bongo Maffin she ventured onto an award-winning solo career that has seen her perform all over the world.
  • Dumpstaphunk

    Dumpstaphunk stands out amongst New Orleans' best, cementing themselves as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville and Meters family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move.
  • Urban Art Orchestra with De’Sean Jones

    A beloved Detroit musical collective led by two-time Grammy nominee De’Sean Jones. With fresh arrangements, electrifying soloists and innovative cross-genre interplay, any Urban Art Orchestra concert promises to be an unforgettable experience.
  • Chris Canas Band

    The Chris Canas Band is one of Michigan’s leading groups for live music. With their diverse mix of Blues, Funk, and Soul, their unique style is known to mesmerize audiences.

Who Will Be Performing at the 2024 AWF?

There's something for everyone at the African World Festival! Check out some of the nationally recognized and award-winning artists and acts scheduled for the weekend—and stay tuned for more!   

Third World

Third World is one of the longest-lived reggae bands of all time and one of Jamaica's most consistently popular crossover acts among international audiences. With nine Grammy nominations and a catalogue of charted hits (including “Now That We Found Love”, ”96 Degrees in the Shade” and “Try Jah Love”) spanning more than four decades, Third World is more than just one of the top reggae bands of all time; it is an institution whose themes are positive, progressive, and internationally relevant.


Over the years, Rapsody’s prowess as a wordsmith has grown considerably. Lyrically deft in the truest sense, her recent album, Please Don’t Cry, is a record that sets her apart from the rest, cementing her status as one of the best storytellers around. Rap's discography spans more than a decade and has made a lasting impact on hip-hop culture, avid music listeners, fans, and critics alike. She carved an indelible mark in hip-hop and garnered a GRAMMY nomination with the lone guest rap verse on Kendrick Lamar’s critically-lauded To Pimp A Butterfly (for her work on “Complexion (A Zulu Love)”).

Thandiswa Mazwai

Thandiswa has been one of the most influential post-Apartheid singers in South Africa. Her first solo project after a six-album stint with Bongo Maffin, reached double platinum status and won numerous awards. She followed that album with two critically acclaimed releases, Ibokwe and Belede, both which reached gold status within a few weeks of release. Her compositions include traditional xhosa music, mbaqanga, funk, jazz, and reggae. Known for her electrifying performances, Thandiswa has performed all over the world and has collaborated with artists such as Hugh Masekela, Meshell Ndegeocello, and more.


Harold "Fyütch" Simmons II is a GRAMMY-nominated music and social justice artist who performs a high-energy dance show for kids about self-love and empowerment. Audiences will learn dance moves, sign language, and recite positive affirmations. The show introduces kids to Black history facts and connects them with cultures other than their own by fostering a fun and welcoming environment. 


Dumpstaphunk is one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage and descended from Neville and Meters family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship through complex funk, rock, and jazz arrangements accompanied by soulful melodies and Big Easy traditions.


Mokoomba, an explosively talented six-man crew from the Victoria Fall, has been hailed as one of the most exciting bands from Africa in the 21st century! The group sings in a number of languages including English, Luvale, Tonga, Nyanja, Ndebele and Shona. We are thrilled to experience music from Mokoomba's newest album, "Tusona: Tracings in the Sand" - recorded entirely in a DIY fashion during the pandemic, showcasing their unique Zimbabwean sound and honoring their deep respect for tradition."Tusona" pays homage to the Luvale tradition of using signs and symbols drawn in the sand during initiation ceremonies. It represents Mokoomba's artistic growth and reflects their collective experiences over the years, forging a distinctive musical identity. Mokoomba's music resonates with the heartbeat and rhythm of a community connected through their music, serving as a source of rejuvenation, resilience, and strength in these changing times.


Charity's music paints the kind of picture you'd see hanging on a loved one's wall. It's sacred, strong, and let's face it - Black. Her storytelling gives away that her very first guitar teacher played Folk music. The organ in the production reveals she's a preacher's daughter. Her use of metaphors point to her English degree, but her hidden nods to writers like Nikki Giovanni and Ntozake Shange point to her HBCU alma mater - Tennessee State University. Her style, love for fashion and frequent show-stopping (blood orange) hairstyles are naturally compliments of her hometown Detroit. 

Charity's originals cover subject matter like relationships, religion, self-love and coming-of-age with a disarming kind of vulnerability. Her songs and live shows are a sanctuary, a therapy session, a good friend's living room. 

And as for her genre - you wonder if it's R&B, if it's Neo-Soul, if it's Folk, if it's Gospel? But you can't help but realize after a listen to er latest single "Cruel" that Charity is Motown.

Larry Lee & the Back in the Day Band

Larry Lee, former NFL player, NFL executive and professional musician who started the band in the early 2000s. LL and BITD is no ordinary group. It is composed of some of the music industry's best musicians and singers. There are former members of the Temptations, Spinners, Dramatics, Contours, Dwele, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and Al Hudson and One Way in the unit. In its 21 years of existence LL and BITD has won numerous awards to include Best R&B band and in 2006 Larry was voted Best Bass Player of the Year by Detroit Music Awards. On Facebook at Larry Lee and Back In The Day Band.

Vox Sambou

Vox Sambou is an MC, poet, and multilingual performer, fluent in Haitian, French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. He co-founded the hip-hop collective Nomadic Massive. With a focus on social issues, Sambou's music spreads joy and optimism. He has performed worldwide and is renowned for his engaging live shows. As a charismatic showman and committed activist, Sambou effortlessly captivates audiences with infectious, memorable melodies and relentless rhythms filled with energy, passion, love, and artistic brilliance. His music tackles topics such as unity and solidarity, reflecting his dedication to social change.His recently released fourth solo album, "We Must Unite" (2023) showcases his unique sound and is a tribute to the women and men of Haiti, shedding light on their resilience and contributions in various societies such as Haiti, Brazil, Chile, North America, and Africa.

Drey Skonie and the Klouds

Drey Skonie and The kLOUDs Band a.k.a. "Skonie and The kLOUDs" emphasis on the loud. Hailing from the motor-city, Detroit, MI. Skonie and The kLOUDs are a retro style band, with a new flare. They call them the new, old school. In the past few years The kLOUDs Band has been shaking up the Detroit Music Scene making the industry take notice. In 2023 Drey Skonie lead singer of the band won "Artist Of The Year" at Motown Museum's Hitsville Next Amplify Sound Of Detroit singing competition. Then only a month later Skonie and The kLOUDS were also crowned winners of Masterpiece Sound Studios' Cover Song Contest in honor of the late, legendary Motown songwriter and producer Sylvia Moy with their captivating rendition of Moy's classic Stevie Wonder Motown hit, "I Was Made To Love Her". Currently "Skonie and The kLOUDs" are recording live in the studio, just like back in the day to help real music return to the airwaves. You can also hear new material and watch performances of the band on YouTube, as well as instagram @dreyskonie and @thekloudsband.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

Named Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain's Detroit Business in 2006, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is an internationally acclaimed youth development program whose mission is to empower young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training and the creation of theatrical and musical art that engages, transforms and inspires. Mosaic's award-winning performances have toured to Africa, Asia, Europe and 25 states throughout the U.S. Mosaic has been featured on NBC's Today Show, NPR's All Things Considered, and was the subject of the Michigan Emmy Award®-winning PBS documentary, And They Flew: The Story of Mosaic Youth Theatre. A national model for youth development through the arts, Mosaic is proud to report that 95% of its Youth Ensemble members graduate from high school and go to college. For more information about Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit visit

This musical adaptation of Jamilah Thompkins Bigelow's picture book tells the story of a little girl frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name. She tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl's mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Reimagined for the stage by acclaimed TYA playwright, and Mosaic alum Shavonne Coleman with music by Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind names!

Alan Dennard Quintet

Allen Dennard is a professional trumpeter, composer, recording artist, bandleader and an activist born and raised in the city of Detroit. Around his senior year of high school Allen had the privilege of being mentored by the great Marcus Belgrave, one of Detroit's own legendary trumpeters and educators. In 2022 Dennard was chosen to be a headliner at the Detroit Jazz Festival, showcasing his group "The Allen Dennard Quintet". Dennard has released two recorded projects as a band leader in his musical career thus-far, one being his debut project "Stepping In" which was released in 2018, and the other being his debut album "Flashback" which was released in 2022 and nominated for a Detroit Music Award in 2023.

TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture

TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture exists as a dance justice and cultural equity organization. Our name is inspired by the Temate dance of the Yacouba and Whêbe people in what we now call the Ivory Coast, a joyful dance inspired by the land and our relationship with it. We acknowledge that we are gathering on lands that are contemporarily the indigenous homelands of the Anishinaabe people and have historically been the homelands of the Huron, Wendat, Kickapoo, and others. We honor the past, present, and future stewardship of these lands and stand in solidarity with native people/indigenous people, and honor Detroit as the largest majority Black city in the United States with a long history of African Diasporic contributions to dance and culture of Detroit and beyond.

Urban Art Orchestra with De'Sean Jones

A beloved Detroit musical collective led by two-time Grammy nominee De’Sean Jones. With fresh arrangements, electrifying soloists and innovative cross-genre interplay, any Urban Art Orchestra concert promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Chris Canas Band

The Chris Canas Band is one of Michigan’s leading groups for live music. With their diverse mix of Blues, Funk, and Soul, their unique style is known to mesmerize audiences.

Ballet Folklorico of Detroit

A 100% volunteer run group. BFD works together to continue the SW Detroit tradition of bringing artistic and cultural equity to Metro-Detroit's historically underrepresented Mexican American community by helping youth to better understand ethnic traditions and develop cultural pride through Mexican Folkloric dance.

Marie Basse Wiles

Marie Basse Wiles was born in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. The granddaughter of Bambara singer and dancer Maimouna Keita, Marie began her professional career at the age of nine. She began teaching at the age of 12 as a member of the Ballet National of Senegal. Her professional accomplishments include resident work with Kinne N'Diaye Rose, daughter of master drummer Dou Dou N'Diaye Rose, and Papa Dougoufana Traore, as well as renowned choreographers Mamadou N'Diaye, Demba Diallo, Oumy Sene, and Raymon Sylla. Her international touring experience includes performances with the Ballet National of Senegal and Koumpo Dance Company, under the direction of Ibrahima Camara. She has won numerous awards for her commitment to the community and accomplishments in dance. She has created numerous ballets throughout her career as well as a piece for The Center For Traditional Music and Dance “Bedenya 97” Festival, that is archived at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Idy Ciss

Idy Ciss comes to us from Senegal. He credits his grandparents with his natural dance ability. They were well known in their village for their dancing, and it was from them that he received this gift. From the time he was five years old, the people from his village loved to watch him dance. He was always called upon to perform for special occasions and ceremonies. He credits the love and support of his family and neighbors as the catalyst which led him to the field of professional dance. Idy is also a teacher and singer of traditional African songs. His professional debut was with Les Ballets Africans Kolaam Serere. He is also a former member of Ballets Africans. He has performed before presidents of several African countries and appeared on national television in Senegal. Idy is a full time member of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, offering his expertise as a consultant, choreographer, and principal dancer.

Naomi Diouf

Naomi Gedo Diouf, an expert in West African dance, history, costume, song and culture, began learning Liberian dances at the age of five from her mother and grandmother in Liberia.  She also trained at the Kendeja Cultural Center for Indigenous Performers, studying not only with Liberian dancers but with prominent dancers and musicians from many other West African nations.  Her apprenticeship under Constance Taul of the Paris Ballet led her to research dance forms from around the world.  She is now the artistic director of Diamano Coura West African Dance Company in Oakland, California, and she has choreographed works for many other professional companies including a consultancy on the classical/African fusion choreography and music Lamberena.  She is an advocate of arts-in-education and has taught West African dance in schools throughout California and abroad.

Bryce the Third

Multitalented recording artist, entrepreneur & storyteller Bryce the Third is a living example of determination. Using nothing but the resources at his fingertips and an ever-growing community of supporters, he’s been able to pull himself out of the depths of addiction, poverty mindset and hopelessness and into some of THE most important rooms in American artistry & innovation. As far as his hometown of Detroit, MI, when it comes to some of the most authentic & impactful artists & entrepreneurs coming out of the city, you would be remiss not to mention Bryce the Third.

Rockim Williamson

In the dynamic world of hip-hop, Rockim Williamson stands as a beacon of lyrical ingenuity and social consciousness. Born in the rhythmic heart of Detroit and nurtured in the serene Grosse Pointe Park, Rockim's journey from a kindergarten music enthusiast to a powerhouse in the music industry is a narrative of talent, determination, and evolution. His journey has been further legitimized by endorsements from Detroit's own Miz Korona and David Winans, luminaries who recognize Rockim's extraordinary talent and impact.

Rockim's artistry is a tapestry woven with the threads of his Detroit roots and a global perspective. His lyrics, a blend of intricate similes, metaphors, and evocative wordplay, resonate across diverse audiences. Eschewing profanity, his tracks convey powerful messages, establishing a unique niche in the music world. Rockim's music is an experience, painting vivid emotional and social landscapes.

Internationally, Rockim's influence is profound, with his music echoing in over 20 countries. His performances in Detroit and across the globe are communal celebrations, where each verse and chorus resonates with the audience. Sharing stages with icons like SuperDuper Kyle and Black Bear, Rockim's presence is both inspirational and transformational.

Beyond the stage, Rockim is a visionary entrepreneur as the CEO of "Confidence Creates," launching the clothing line "Friends Support Their Friends." This venture transcends fashion, symbolizing solidarity and empowerment, mirroring his belief in community strength.

Rockim's dedication to social change is evident in his advocacy for issues like gun violence prevention, homelessness, and honoring figures like Martin Luther King Jr. His involvement goes beyond mere advocacy; it's a commitment to tangible change.

With his band, "Confidence," Rockim's performances are more than music; they are symphonies of ideas and ideals, dialogues for action, and beacons of hope. His partnership with Miz Korona and David Winans underscores his significant role in Detroit's music scene and his influence in shaping a more unified, empathetic world through music.

As Rockim Williamson continues to redefine the hip-hop landscape, he is not just a success story but a blueprint for future artists. His blend of artistic innovation, dedication to his roots, and commitment to societal change make him a standout figure, a luminary guiding us toward a harmonious future through the power of music.

Anthony Brogdon

I love to write. I'm a historian with an emphasis on black history. I stumbled upon facts about enslaved black folks who were allowed to operate a business. This surprised me so much that I decided to produce a documentary on this topic "Business in the Black" which was released in 2017. It toured to over 40 US cities, Toronto, Canada and London, England. To compliment the film, I wrote "Black Business Book" which was released in 2019. My aim is to sell million copies of the book and for it to go down in history.

Since, the release of Black Business Book, I have launched a podcast "Strong Inspirations" where I interview people around the world for them to share black history stories. I have produced a stage play "They Did It" adapted from the book and I am producing a movie adapted from the book "They Did It" due for release fall 2023.

I have spoken throughout the US on the topic of "Rise of black business in America."

Lisa McCall

Lisa McCall is a choreographer, producer and educator, and is the CEO of LM Productions Entertainment. Lisa is the rehearsal director and touring road manager for the dancers and choreographers of the Aretha Franklin Group. She’s appearanced at The White House, Radio City Music Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Lisa has worked as a professional dancer and choreographer for the past two decades in NYC. She is an alumni of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She has taught dance as an adjunct faculty member at both Wayne State University and Oakland University. She has taught abroad at the Univerity of Trinadad and the University of West Indies, just recently in Grenada. Currently, she’s the head of the Dance and Theatre Department at Consortium Preparatory High School in Detroit.


Apropos is an international recording artist and performer whose electric vocals and captivating stage presence have lead to recognition from around the globe.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Detroit, Apropos’ infatuation with music started early. At 7, he learned to play piano and began perfecting his songwriting craft by 9. The son of a minister, his connection with music deepened while performing gospel music in church. After recognizing his innate gifts and natural prowess, an inspiring middle school teacher encouraged a young Apropos to start his journey and dedicate his life to his art.

In 2010, Apropos became the lead singer of the Detroit band Soul Divide. The group spent years playing shows around Michigan and throughout the Midwest, developing a cult following of devoted fans who were roused by their dynamic shows and Apropos' unforgettable vocal showcase. After releasing their debut album 'Tell the World' in 2013, the group split in 2015 due to creative differences. His journey stalled, Apropos took a brief hiatus from music and experienced some of the darkest internal moments of his life. He found himself at a crossroad and questioned the feasibility of a music career for the first time.

However, the questions didn't last long.

Fueled solely by his ambition and unconditional passion for music, Apropos quit his day job and dove headfirst into pursuing a career as a solo artist. Modern Motown was born in the fall of 2017 when Apropos dropped a trio of self-released tracks. Now the father of his own genre, he pushed forward independently until his song 'Oreo' caught the attention of music executives from across the pond. At the onset of 2018, Apropos' journey merged into the fast lane when he signed with Iamsound and Beverly Martel, cementing himself as a professional singer-songwriter mere months after his initial offering as an independent solo artist.

The summer of 2018 changed Apropos' life forever. Finding himself on a flight from Hitsville to Hollywood, Apropos landed in Los Angeles to collaborate with Grammy-nominated producer and musician Dave Wilder. The pair were a match made in Heaven and after locking themselves in a studio for a month, Apropos left LA for London with a handful of incredible songs already in tow. Stationing himself five hours outside of London in the tiny village of Blackpool (pop. 114k) with dynamic UK producing duo AZTX, Apropos spent the next month tirelessly working to complete his debut album. After a last trip to London to oversee the final mixing and mastering of his album and to record a music video for his first single 'She Makes Me,' Apropos returned to Detroit to await its release.

On November 2, 2018, Apropos released his debut album (Verse)atility on Iamsound and Beverly Martel. He had finally reached the first major checkpoint of his journey. The album was met with acclaim on both sides of the pond.

Apropos lives in Detroit, MI where he maintains a robust performance schedule, including a number of charity fundraisers for a variety of Detroit nonprofits. He's currently mapping out the next destination on his journey.

Sheefy McFly

As a multidisciplinary artist and creative director, Sheefy has worked with brands such as: Apple, Lululemon, Red Bull, 1800 Tequila, Vitamin Water, Maker’s Mark, 1XRun, New Balance, Bedrock Detroit, Michigan Opera House, Pax Labs, Rockstar Games, Skymint Cannabis, LinkedIn, and Polaroid amongst others.

Deborah Henderson

Deborah has been practicing yoga since 2006, embracing the mind, body, and breath experience as a way of cultivating a strong physical, mental and emotional state of being. She teaches a variety of yoga methods including hatha, vinyasa, adaptive, chair, and gentle floor yoga. Deborah earned her Bachelors in Therapeutic Recreation from Eastern Michigan University and MBA from Baker College.

Don't Miss Out

The 2024 African World Festival (AWF) features local and international performers, more than 100 vendors, and countless opportunities for family fun.