Baltimore’s AFRAM, 2019

(L-R) Alysha January, artist;Brandon Scott, President, Baltimore City Council;Harold Rollins, famous Baltimore Actor, 2006 inductee, Great Blacks in Wax Museum

It’s  going on 43 years, since the inception of AFRAM, the African American festival for Baltimore Maryland, highlighting the essence and achievements of the culture.

When this was conceived, the Mayor was not of African American descent. From 1987 to now, over  three decades, the Mayor has been African American. The home of the  festival has been nomadic moving from place to place, and finally,  the last three years, DRUID HILL PARK. I went to the festival this year to see what progress this new “platform”, (the organizers word) has produced as a “lift off!” for today’s African American community.

Have the youth been inspired to be more conscious of legacy ? Would I see more diversity of skills? Has the new political entourage of Mayor Young and associates bestir the underbelly to use their hands and heads to be less pugilistic? Would I see more engineers, architects, builders, black budding “Henry Ford’s”, App creators, like Bill Gates ? Tired of the escape artistes, like “PUFF DADDY

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL! Are our teenagers displaying any creative designs, that can be locally admired, and perhaps prep for market someday?

Or am I in a fool’s paradise ? “Wishing and hoping”, like Dusty Springfield.

ZAKIYYAH MAKINI, has been a continuous vendor at AFRAM, we had a conversation:

In the music arena, none of our students from the Baltimore School for the Arts, were on the program. None of our students attending or who graduated from the elite Peabody Conservatory was in performance. I know they are around, I’ve seen them, and have interviewed many African American graduates. They were MIA, (Missing In Action) at AFRAM. I had to settle for what was served. I chose the following for you: