30th Annual Umoja Festival
Friday, May 27 – Sunday, May 29, 2022
Festival Park (16 Crawford Circle)
UMOJA is a Kiswahili word meaning UNITY in the family, community and the nation. The Umoja Festival entertainment is a unique combination of contemporary and ancient art forms. Vendors selling ethnic foods, a marketplace of sculptures, paintings, prints, baskets, quilts and other assorted hand-crafted wares contribute to the ambiance of the Festival.
Friday, May 27th, 2022
5:30pm – 6:00pm Opening Ceremony
6:00pm – 7:30pm RaJazz
Saturday, May 28, 2022
12:00pm – 1:00pm Joselyn Best and JB Soulful Soundz
1:15pm – 2:15pm Better By Tuesday
2:30pm – 3:30pm 5 Starr
3:45pm – 4:45pm Seamless
5:00pm – 6:15pm Calden and Company
6:30pm – 7:45pm Revalation
8:00pm – 9:15pm Champagne Band
9:30pm – 11:00pm Kustom Made
Sunday, May 29th, 2022
2:00pm – 2:30pm Chi and Company
2:45pm – 3:15pm New Pearly Gates
3:30pm – 4:00pm Southeast VA Chapter of GMWA
4:15pm – 5:00pm Brother’s in Unity
5:15pm – 6:00pm Brian D. Hill and the Provenance Singers
All Festival Park performances are FREE and OPEN to the public.
The Heritage Stage
Frederick Douglass “On Slavery and Emancipation”
Frederick Douglass visits to share his true tales of his life as a slave, his escape to freedom and his rise as a great writer, orator, and abolitionist. Mr. Douglass emphasizes the importance of reading and writing as well as learning history and developing a strong sense of civic responsibility. Mr. Douglass will recite an excerpt from his most famous speech, “What to the Slave is the 4th of July,” followed by an unscripted Q & A session between attendees and Mr. Douglass. Celebrated poet and performer Nathan Richardson portrays Mr. Douglass.
Come Freedom, Come
Hear the uniquely American story of Martha Ann Fields, an enslaved cook, and one of Virginia’s unsung heroes. Celebrated storyteller and actor, Valerie Davis, captures the physical, historical, and spiritual essence of this former enslaved woman from the Nutshell Plantation in Hanover County as she reveals this true story of love, longing, faith, betrayal, and courage. Meet a woman who took a chance on her future one dark night in 1863 when she gathered her children and crossed the Pamunkey River in the dead of night to reach Union lines and freedom. Find freedom alongside her as she details her flight with her eight young children to Fort Monroe and how this fort played an integral part in establishing her new life as a free woman. Discover the impact her family had on Virginia politics and history in the years following their escape. This story of freedom and empowerment is great for teaching multi-generational audiences about the eras of oppression Marth Ann and her children lived through: Civil War History, The Reconstruction Era, and Jim Crow. Meet the character, Martha Ann Fields, during a Q&A after the program.
Coretta: A Legacy of Love
Hailed as the “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement” Coretta Scott King comes to life in this moving performance from Valerie Davis. From her marriage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to her life spent in dedication to political activism, audiences will discover the triumphs and tribulations of an American legend at the forefront of the fight for human rights. Through music, stories, and interaction Coretta asks us all to answer the question: What will you do to combat injustice?