Kunta Kinte celebration

September 20, 1991

The observances for the fifth annual Kunta Kinte Commemoration and Heritage Festival continue this weekend with a variety of events in the Baltimore area and Annapolis.

The festival reaffirms the importance of the African-American community as a medium for social change and self-improvement, as demonstrated by its theme: "With Faith, We are Family."

A celebration of the heritage, culture, history, music and cuisine of African-Americans, the festival marks 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 of the family legends about Kunta Kinte, eventually leading him back to his ancestral village in Gambia.

The remaining schedule of events is as follows:

* Youth and Educator's Celebration -- 9:30 a.m. (grades nine-12) and 12:30 p.m. (grades three-eight) today. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. "The Message is in the Music" is a program that will trace African-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 through art, 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., Sunday, 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.

Information: 841-6281.

* 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 the musical "Purlie." A reception follows. Admission is $25 for performance only and $50 for both performance and reception.

* The Arrival Commemoration 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.

* "In The Aftermath of Glory: African-American Soldiers" exhibit -- 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 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.

Information: 974-3914.

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