African American Heritage Festival
Get free admission to the Charlotte Museum of History to celebrate Charlotte's Black history and culture on February 25, 2023 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Our 2023 event will emphasize regional HBCUs through performance, panels, and a college fair. In addition, we will host dozens of local vendors, open up the 1774 Alexander Homesite for special tours, and feature the North Carolina Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, for the keynote address. Details will be updated periodically as we receive confirmation of attendance.
Keynote Speaker: Jaki Shelton Green
HBCUs: Elizabeth City State University, Winston Salem State University, Barber-Scotia College, Bennett College, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University, Johnson C. Smith University
Jaki Shelton Green, ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina appointed in 2018, is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate and reappointed in 2021 for a second term by Governor Roy Cooper. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Additionally, she received the George School Outstanding Alumni Award in 2021. Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, published by Blair Publishers. Feeding the Light, i want to undie you published by Jacar Press, i want to undie you English/Italian bilingual edition published by Lebeg Publishers. Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst, produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records and released a CD, i want to undie you in 2021. Jaki Shelton Green is the owner of SistaWRITE providing writing retreats for women writers in Sedona Arizona, Martha’s Vineyard, Ocracoke North Carolina, Northern Morocco, and Tullamore Ireland. In 2021, The Arts Club of Chicago premiered a commissioned body of work in collaboration with Flutronix for the Black Is Series and was performed in April 2022 by Flutronix and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She serves as the poetry editor for WALTER Magazine and an appointment as the Poet Laureate in Residence at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Additionally, she has been recognized on the Forbes Magazine 50 Over 50 Lifestyle List for 2022.