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37th Annual African World Festival

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is proud to continue its 37-year legacy of hosting the city's largest celebration of African diasporic culture from Friday, August 16th through Sunday, August 18th.

With generous contributions from from presenting sponsor Ford Motor Company Fund and others, each day from 11 AM to 11 PM, AWF will feature several stages of entertainment, more than 125 marketplace vendors, crowd-pleasing ethnic foods, visual arts, master crafts exhibitions, live demonstrations, and so much more. Over 100,000 guests are expected to attend, and institutions in the Cultural Center including Wayne State University, Midtown Detroit, Inc., and the Scarab Club are participating in welcoming visitors to the area.

Food & Shopping

AWF 2019 will feature over 125 vendors of authentic African and Caribbean foods, clothes, accessories, health products, and more. They will be situated around the rear of the building on Brush and Farnsworth Avenues.


Festivities will officially commence on Friday evening with a welcome by President & CEO Neil A. Barclay. Headlining AWF 2019 is R&B crooner Freddie Jackson, who will perform on the Main Stage on Friday night. Other notable performances will be given by gospel music legends and Detroit natives, including the Clark Sisters on Saturday and Kalakuta Republik on Sunday.

More entertainment includes, but is not limited to:

  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Step Show
  • Detroit Rocks the Runway Fashion Show coordinated by renowned local creative and activist Piper Carter
  • Children's activities including face painting, craft making, and a book fair
  • Live music and dance performances by local African drummers and dancers


As an institution focused on learning, visitors can participate in our college fair featuring local colleges and universities, as well as prominent Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

Inside the Museum

Inside of the 22,000 square-foot facility, all exhibitions on display will be open. The Museum Store will also be open, which features Museum merchandise, Detroit specific brands, memberships, and other unique finds that won't be outside. Inside the General Motors Theater, African World Film Festival will host an exclusive screening of the smash documentary Horror Noire, directed by Xavier Burgin, featuring narration by Jordan Peele, followed by a live Q&A with Burgin.

The Opening Ceremony for African World Festival 2019 begins at 4 PM on Saturday, August 17. This weekend-long event is sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund, Heritage Works, Wayne State University, Domino's Pizza, the Knight Foundation, and Go RVing.

Media Contact

Edward Foxworth III, Director of External Affairs, 313-494-5863,