African-American festival to feature R&B legends

O'Jays are headline act at event set for Sept. 21


Legendary R&B group the O'Jays will headline Baltimore County's sixth annual African-American Cultural Festival in Towson, organizers announced yesterday.

The event, which will take place Sept. 21 in the courthouse plaza, will include other musical acts, vendors, health information and screenings, and displays about the 40 historically African-American communities in the county. About 40,000 people attended the event last year.

Exhibits will display more than 5,000 photographs from those communities, and festival-goers can tour some of them that day, said Charles Young, president of the festival's board of directors.

The O'Jays are known for such hits as "Back Stabbers" and "For the Love of Money."

Organizers said they hope the entertainment and food will appeal to people of all races.

"We felt it was something we wanted to bring to the public, and we saw each time families coming out and having fun, all races," said Harold D. Williams, who was president of the board for the festival's first five years.

In 1997, the county was host of the first African-American Cultural Festival as part of an effort to bring attention to the people and accomplishments of black communities. It was the first such event to be held in the county since 1894.

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