India.Arie, Mary Mary, Bootsy Collins among headliners at African Fest

India.Arie and several other popular world class entertainers will show up and show out this Labor Day Weekend, Friday-Monday, in Washington Park for the 21st annual African Festival of the Arts.

India.Arie and several other popular world class entertainers will show up and show out this Labor Day Weekend, Friday-Monday, in Washington Park for the 21st annual African Festival of the Arts. (Enter at 51st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.) The spacious outdoor site is being transformed into an authentic African village, complete with three stages for non-stop entertainment, an African marketplace showcasing art and culture, African cuisine, cultural pavilions and lots of family fun. Over 250,000 attendees are expected to interact with artists and artisans and participate in community forums and village meetings to discuss social and cultural issues.

Record mogul George Daniels and jazz historian Geraldine De Haas will reign supreme as Grand Baba and Grand Yeye over the four-day festival, an historical, cultural, community and family tradition that focuses on music, art, food, fashion, dance, jewelry, education that is the largest neighborhood event in Chicago. It will also include performances by such noted artists as Mary Mary, Bootsy Collins, Al B. Sure, Chico DeBarge, Nigerian sensation Kefee, jazz vocalist Joan Colasso, The Selvy Singers, Muntu Dance Co., Jon B. Zzaye, Gerald Wilson, Mark E & Afterflow, Joshua’s Troop, Fela Queens. Also: Tyrese, author of How to Get Out of Your Own Way, and new this year, “Try Your Hand at Tennis” workshops. The 2011 featured visual artist is Baltimore-born Dana Easter who works in fabrics and textiles.

AFA, the flagship program of Africa International House USA, is a not for profit whose mission is to bridge the divides between the peoples of the African Diaspora living in Chicago. For festival tickets: ($10, $15, VIP and weekend family passes, etc.), and or more Info, call (773) 955-2787.

Attn: Jazz Junkies – One of Chicago’s busiest and most sought after musicians, jazz trumpeter and composer Orbert Davis, co-founder, conductor and artistic director of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, a 55-plus piece jazz-symphonic orchestra, and clinical associate professor at University of Illinois-Chicago, is this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival artist-in-residence, and the Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. has named a trolley in his honor. The Jazz Club Tour, on Wednesday, 7 p.m., kicks off the Chicago Jazz Festival, Sept. 1-4. Davis has recorded over 3,000 TV and radio commercials.

Tickets begin at $20 for access to all participating clubs and for trolley transportation between the clubs: Andy’s, Green Mill, Jazz Showcase, Close Up 2, Jazzin’ on the Southside at eta, Reggie’s, Marmon Grand, Buddy Guy’s Legends, M Lounge, Red Pepper Masquerade Lounge, City Life, Chant, Park 52, Mayne Stage and L26. Buy tickets in advance at, or on the night of the event at any of the clubs.

Newsy Names – Show biz buzz: Save the date! The diva of all divas, Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Louise Holt in 1944 in Philly), the multi Grammy Award-winning R&B and pop singer-songwriter, actress and author, headlines the Chicago Urban League’s Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner on Nov. 12 at the Hilton Chicago Hotel … Tom Burrell, retired founder of Burrell Communications, a marketing-communications agency, and author of Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority, was celebrated as Man of the Month in the August edition of Today’s Chicago Woman … Hats off to Donna Smith on being named executive vice president and head of the Commercial Middle Marketing and Regional Banking Depts. at Associated Bank … Peace, Love & Soul! Join Don Cornelius and other special guests as Soul Train, the TV show, celebrates its 40th year on Monday in Millennium Park at a free once-in-a lifetime concert made possible in part by Amtrak in commemoration of its 40th anniversary. A free pre-concert dance party at Cloud Gate runs from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. … Congrats to Mae Ruth Carr, who was elected national vice president/president-elect at the 46th annual National Convention of The Carrousels, Inc. in Toronto. Carr assumes her lofty seat as national prexey in 2013 at the group’s Atlanta meeting … Joe Berrios, Cook County assessor, picked up top honors Wednesday at the Westside Association for Community Action’s Blue Monday Extravaganza XXV at the Chicago Yacht Club from W. “Bill” Williams, WACA’s board prexey … In town last weekend: Ross LeBeaux, the second African American from Chicago to join the National Soccer League and the first from the South Side. LeBeaux, coached as a kid by Dr. James Buckner, won his first soccer championship when he was about 5 years old.

Happy B’Day – to Carrie Davis, who sends postcard pennings from Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. where she celebrated with sons and grandkids at their family home. She was hoping to catch a glimpse of her Hyde Park-Kenwood friends and neighbors, President Barack and Michelle Obama and daughters, Natasha “Sasha” and Malia Ann, who also were on hiatus on the East Coast isle … Also b’day cheer to Velma Wilson, Jan Hooks, Cong. Danny K. Davis, Dorothy Brown, Art Norman, Don Doty, Darlene Hill, Deborah Crable, Rev. Rochelle Michael, Wendell Hutson, Maizelle Hutson, David E. Johnson, Orguerete Eskridge, Tahjma Hall, Joyce Philpott Moore, Stuart Rankin, Fred Miller Jr., La’Keisha Gray-Sewell, Stella Reid, Chris Base, Michele Brock, George Cooper, Peter Love, Margaret Wooten, Verna Watts Shannon, Ben Jones, Donn Harper and Valencia Ross … Happy 47th wedding anniversary to Dr. and Mrs. Christopher R. Reed (he’s the retired Roosevelt U. historian and history prof; she’s Marva) … Rev. and Mrs. Donald B. Register (E. Dolores) are celebrating 48 years of “togetherness,” and Robert and Deborah Williams are marking their wedding anniversary mid-week.

But Not Forgotten! – A memorial service for Ethel Roby Boswell Darden, 114, is Sept. 17, noon, at AKArama Foundation Community Center, 6220 S. Ingleside and will include an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Ivy Beyond the Wall Ceremony, a Celebration of a Life Well Lived, a Howalton Day School Tribute and a High Tea Reception. The retired educator, born Feb. 17 in Dallas, Texas, died July 17 in Montgomery Place Nursing Center in Hyde Park where she had lived for a number of years.

She and her twin sister, Esther, the youngest of five daughters born to school teachers, graduated from Dallas Colored High School in 1917, attended Wiley College in Marshall, Texas and graduated in 1921. After teaching school in Dallas for nearly two decades, Ethel married Joseph Darden, an accountant, in 1942 and they moved to Chicago where another sister, Doris Allen, enlisted her as a teacher at Howalton Day School (1947-1986). Founded by three African American educators, June Howe-White, Doris Allen-Anderson and Charlotte B. Stratton (How-Al-Ton), it was Chicago’s oldest African American, private, non-sectarian school. It’s educational philosophy stressed discovery, enthusiasm, creativity, the arts and the humanities.

Ethel often sacrificed her salary to help keep the school afloat. Fundraisers subsidized revenue and united parents and teachers. Due, in part, to increased Black acceptance in
to better-funded accelerated private and public school programs, Howalton closed in 1986. In 1996 Ethel and Mildred Johnson donated historical material, “Howalton School Archives,” to the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Chicago’s Carter G. Woodson Regional Library..

Steppin’ Out – Singer Marshall Thompson, of Chi-Lites fame, judges the sweet potato pie bake-off at The Back to Fall Steppers Ball on Sept. 21, 6 p.m.-midnight, at Unico Design II & The Look in River Oaks Mall, hosted by Ch. 16’s Jacques on the Block and emceed by Ramonski Luv. Also on tap: a hair design contest, magic by David Sharif and A Tribute to the Best Dressed Man in All America. Tickets: $35 a couple in addition to $10 for catered service and soft drinks. Call (312) 546-1663.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender


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