The 14th annual Karamu Statewide Black History Parade and Festival will kick off Black History Month events in Columbia on Saturday.
The parade, featuring grand marshal Bakari Sellers, will begin at noon at the corner of Harden and Gervais streets, travel south on Harden Street and end at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 2300 Greene St.
The festival will begin at 1:15 p.m. at the park, with exhibits, vendors and live entertainment including musical acts the 69 Boyz, Marcus Hawkins, Salil Myers, Tiffany J and Musical Solutions.
On Feb. 25, the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department will hold its Black History Heritage Ball from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Greenview Park, located at 6700 David St. The event, to include dinner and live entertainment, is open to everyone age 18 and older. African-print clothing or semiformal attire is encouraged.
Admission is $10. Tickets can be purchased at any city recreation center with a check or money order. For cash or credit card purchases, visit the Parks and Recreation Department administration office at 1111 Parkside Drive.
Benedict College will also celebrate Black History Month with a full schedule of events, including the 29th annual Harambee Festival Feb. 23-25.
Harambee, meaning “pull together” in Swahili, is a Kenyan tradition of community self-help events.
The festival will include children’s and women’s villages, health screenings, a caregivers’ workshop, live stage performances and a baking contest and auction. It culminates on Sunday, Feb. 25 with a community choir concert featuring members of local musical groups joining with the Benedict College Gospel Choir.
To sign up for choir rehearsals or for more information, call 803-705-4486 or visit www.benedict.edu/harambee.