The Pan-African Weekend hosted by Face2Face Africa wrapped yesterday and I was super bummed I wasn’t able to go this year. While in DC this summer, one of my goals is to get more plugged into the Afropolitan community. New York has Little Africa and Little Senegal and other pockets of vibrant African communities, events and festivals. In DC, it’s not always obvious where to go for your Pan-African fix. In an effort to help those looking to connect with follow Afropolitans – myself included, I have complied a list of this summer’s can’t-miss-events for Africans in the DMV.
1. Fest Africa: August 13th to 14th
Photo from: FestAfrica.com
Fest Africa is putting on it’s 14 installation of DC’s #1 African Cultural Festival. The Festival is a two day gathering of celebrating African culture, fashion, cuisine and heritage. Best part? It’s free to the public. So grab a couple friends, put on your best ankara and head on over to Silver Spring during the 2nd weekend of August.
2. Zuvaa Pop-Up Shop: July 23rd & 24th
Photo from Zuvaa’s Instagram
Many of you have probably heard of Zuvaa, the online marketplace for all things African fashion that is taking the world by storm. They are currently on a pop-up tour, and their next stop is DC! Make sure you check it out because the clothes from this site are amazing and I already know it will be all love and supportive vibes! I actually got my graduation dress from Zuvaa.com! You can find a similar one here. So if you’re not a fan of online shopping, but love the clothes you’ve seen on the Zuvaa website, you won’t want to miss this! Their next stop after DC will be Philadelphia.
3. Ubiquitous Expo: August 27th & 28th
This is an event that I recently heard about that is all about celebrating you! They have a few awesome bloggers/influencers lined up as speakers, including my current blogger crush, Rene of Own by Femme. The weekend is jam packed with panel discussions, workshops, and performances!! It looks like a weekend one cannot miss. Check it out here.
4. Young African Professionals Networking Mixer: July 13th
Photo from: Young African Professionals
This Wednesday, the Young African Professionals are putting on a networking event at Bukom Café featuring the Washing Mandela Fellows of Howard University. The fellows are part of the Young African Leaders Initiative started under President Barack Obama. This will be a fun opportunity to meet this year’s YALI fellows and network with local African professsionals.
The Young African Professionals have regular events throughout the year, so check out their site to see what they are up to this summer.
5. All Things Ankara: TBD
Last year, the first All Things Ankara Fashion Week was held in DC and they also hosted a Nigerian Independence Day Ball <>. There hasn’t been any word on their site yet if they will host another one this summer, but it’s still worth keeping an eye out in case they do. I’ll definitely update this blog post if and when I find out more information.
6. Opening of the African American Museum: Sept. 24th
Photo from Smithsonian.com
Ok, so this event is technically in the fall, but I just can’t contain my excitement for the opening of this museum. I do love my DC Smithsonians and this one will be a great and much needed addition to the landscape and cultural offerings of DC. And the architecture is just breathtaking. I can only imagine what wonderful knowledge they’ll have artfully displayed within that crown of a building. We just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, there is a sneak peak!!
7. AfropolitanDC – August 5th
Photo from DrumPulse Entertainment
We can’t talk about Afropolitan events in DC without mentioning the awesome monthly parties held by DrumPulse Entertainment. They hold the events the first Friday of each month. It starts off early in the evening as a networking mixer and by the end of the night you are in the middle of the dance floor shaking all you’re got to the latest Afrobeat grooves. The next AfropolitanDC is August 6th, so make sure you sign up here. Not in DC this summer? Don’t fret! They host the event in other major cities like Baltimore, New York , Miami, and it’s not coming to Atlanta !!
Those are the seven events I am looking forward to this summer, but there are plenty of other Afro-centric events going on throughout DC! Headzup keeps a pretty updated list of local events, as does DC Black. Some events coming up on their lists that look awesome are the Young African ConnecXions Summit at Howard, Blogger Week and the Manassas African American Heritage Festival.
So there you have it! We can’t say New York is the only one with fun events for Young Afropolitans. DC has a lot to offer, we just have to get out there, explore and connect! What events are you excited to attend this summer and are there any events I’m missing from this list? Please let me know!