The observances for the fifth annual Kunta Kinte Commemoration and Heritage Festival start tomorrow at the Holiday Inn in Annapolis Thursday and conclude Saturday and Sunday, with a variety of events in theBaltimore area and Annapolis.
The high point of the festivities will be a Melba Moore concert Sept. 28 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, with a reception to follow.
The event, intended to reaffirm the importance of the African-American community as a medium for social change and self-improvement, has as its theme: "With Faith, We are Family."
A celebration of theheritage, culture, history, music and cuisine of African-Americans, the festival is intended to mark the arrival on Sept. 29, 1767, in Annapolis of the ship Lord Ligonier, which carried 98 Africans into slavery, including Kunta Kinte, an ancestor of author Alex Haley.
Haley's book, "Roots," documented his search for the historical basis ofthe family legends about Kunta Kinte and eventually led him back to his ancestral village in Gambia.
The schedule of events is as follows:
* African-American Appreciation of Excellence Awards Luncheon-- noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Holiday Inn, Riva Road, Annapolis.Recognition of contributions by individuals and organizations to thedevelopment of society in America and worldwide. Admission is $25.
* Youth and Educator's Celebration -- 9:30 a.m. (grades nine-12) and 12:30 p.m. (grades three-eight) Friday. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. "The Message is in the Music," is a program that will traceAfrican-American heritage through music, dance and drama, starting with traditional drums and concluding with rap.
The program is free, but reservations are required.
* The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival -- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at St. John's College.
This two-day event offers an array of performances, exhibits and demonstrations showcasing heritage and culture throughart, oral history, music and cuisine of African-Americans.
The festival grounds will be designed to resemble an African village compound. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12. Senior citizens and children under 3 admitted free.
* 5K Heritage Run -- 7:30 a.m., Sept. 22, starting at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis. For the serious runner, a three-mile trip through historic Annapolis, starting at the stadium and finishing at the Kunta Kinte plaque at the City Dock. Registration is $5.
* The Magnificent African: Worship Service and Cultural Workshop -- 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 28, at Coppin State College, Baltimore. The day begins with an interfaith worship service and ends with a series of rediscovery workshops of authentic African culture, including dance, storytelling, African dress, poetry, music, spirituality and genealogy. Admission is free.
* The Anchor Event -- 8 p.m., Sept. 28, at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. A concert featuring Melba Moore, creator of the role of Lulu Belle in themusical "Purlie." A reception follows. Admission is $25 for performance only and $50 for both performance and reception.
* The ArrivalCommemoration and Exhibit Reception -- 3 p.m., Sept. 29, at Susan B.Campbell Park, Annapolis City Dock. The commemoration will be followed by a reception at the Banneker-Douglas Museum, 84 Franklin St., Annapolis, for both children and adults. Admission is free.
* "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby" -- daily 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., through February 1992 at the Banneker-Douglas Museum. A showcase of the new exhibit of African-American folk dolls at the museum.
* "In The Aftermath of Glory: African-American Soldiers" exhibit -- 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., tomorrow through Oct. 30 at the Maryland State Archives, 350 Rowe Blvd., Annapolis. The exhibit examines the lives of black soldiers who survived the Civil War.
* "The Maryland Black Experience As Understood Through Archaeology" -- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., through October, at the Shiplap House, 18 Pinkney St., Annapolis. The exhibit focuses on two excavated sites in Historic Annapolis, combining oral histories and archaeology to explore African-American history.