Family Picks

Family Picks: An all-day celebration of African-American culture

CorrespondentJanuary 23, 2014 

The 13th Annual African American Cultural Celebration on Jan. 25 at the N.C. Museum of History will include hands-on activities, musicians, storytellers, writers, dancers, chefs and craftspeople.


The big event this weekend is the N.C. Museum of History’s African-American Cultural Celebration, where your family can spend all day hearing storytellers, listening to live music, making crafts and tasting traditional foods.

The festival is Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and everything is free. Entertainment will be both inside and outside the museum on Bicentennial Plaza in downtown Raleigh.

This is the 13th year for the festival, which kicks off the state’s Black History Month celebrations and honors the rich cultural history of African-Americans in North Carolina.

This year, there will be more than 75 presenters, including musicians, storytellers, writers, dancers, chefs and craftspeople.

The day will start with a procession, complete with a drum line, from Bicentennial Plaza into the museum. Afterward, there are lots of activities designed to engage children.

There will be a scavenger hunt where kids can collect answers to questions in the museum’s exhibits and get a prize when they are done.

There will be several live musical performances, including a “trombone shout band,” an “Afro-groove workout session,” several choirs and well-known Southern blues performer Ben Wiley Payton. The day will also include dramatic performances, poets and dancers.

Two children’s authors, Kelly Starling Lyons and Vanessa Brantley-Newton, will read their books for children. Starling Lyons will serve the tea cakes from her book “Tea Cakes with Tosh.”

There will also be lots of stations for hands-on activities. They include:

• Making pipe cleaner art inspired by a wire artist and sculptor who will be at the festival.

• Practicing table setting and etiquette with volunteers from the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum.

• An underground railroad activity from the Historic Halifax State Historic Site.

• Making necklaces with cowrie shells, a traditional African shell that was once so prized it was used as currency.

• Making a square for a Dream Quilt, which will be displayed at the State Capitol in February.

• Adding to the Freedom Wall by writing or drawing what freedom means to you.

• Making a Family Tree collage.

For a full schedule of events, go to

Send Family Picks suggestions to

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service