The countdown to the 33rd Annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival (KKHF) is underway. The tradition of holding the free, cultural celebration will continue in Annapolis, Maryland.

“When I hear the positive stories about how being at the festival made people feel, the connections they have made at the festival, old and new, and the economic impact for our vendors, it must continue. And not only to continue, but grow,” said Jan F. Lee, the festival chair and board president. 

Lee added, “The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival is such an amazing opportunity for people of all backgrounds to learn and experience the rich culture, the food and the music of the African diaspora. And when you see people of the African diaspora come together in peace and love, smiling the biggest smiles, feeling safe among family and friends, feeling empowered about who they are, you know it must continue.”

Kunta Kinte’s journey of being brought to Annapolis aboard the ship Lord Ligonier, reportedly dates to 1767. The late author Alex Haley introduced him to the public, after digging for his family’s roots. The festival’s inspiration hinges on Kunta Kinte’s legacy.

Lee stated that over 10,000 people attended the KKHF last year. Lee, Danielle Young— the chair of Arts & Crafts and festival co-chair, along with other volunteers have remained committed to keeping the festival’s tradition alive. Lee believes that new leadership will be forthcoming in 2024. 

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