The Key West Africana Festival²
Event on 2014-06-19 13:00:00

The Key West Africana Festival²

The Key West Africana Festival promotes Music, Art, and Exploring Afro-Caribbean Culture within Key West during a three-day destination retreat (June 19th – 22nd, 2014) focusing on Thought, Culture and Wellness within the African Diaspora. The influences of Caribbean, African-American and Afro-Latino culture is evident in all of Key West. We will celebrate that music, art and culture while enjoying a beautiful destination vacation in Key West. Integrating the local neighborhood of Bahama Village, the Key West African Burial Ground and the Historic Henrietta Marie salvaged Slave Ship.  

KWAF Founder on "Good Morning Florida Keys with Jenna Stauffer": The Mission (6/2013)


Our goal is to provide a destination vacation where vacationers enjoy the Africana Cultures of Key West, scholars discuss their research, wellness experts present their practice areas, and others will enjoy a fun-filled weekend in beautiful Key West. Founded by Christopher Norwood, J.D. with Co-Founder Dr. James Peterson, as an extension of their national work focused on issues of education, community development and cultural awareness, inspired by their love of travel and interaction within a global community.

La Concha Hotel – Crown Plaza

La Concha, a beautiful Key West hotel and resort that exudes vintage charm and contemporary elegance is a National Historic Landmark in the heart of Key West’s Historic District. This legendary Key West hotel has been inspiring guests like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams (he finished Street Car Named Desire at the hotel) since opening in 1926. From the moment you step into this iconic hotel, you feel relaxed and in harmony with the island energy. This is our second year as La Concha as our Host Hotel and Partner. Special Rates for participants 9 per night, please contact the Hotel at directly at (305) 296-2991.

Keynote Speaker and Ambassador
The 2013 Inaugural KWAF (last year) we featured Dr. Michael Eric Dyson as our Keynote Speaker and Ambassador. Dr. Dyson is the American academic, author, and radio host. He is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. Described by Michael A. Fletcher as "a Princeton PhD and a child of the streets who takes pains never to separate the two", Dyson has so far authored and edited 18 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin Gaye, Nas’s debut album Illmatic, Bill Cosby, Tupac Shakur and Hurricane Katrina.

Behind the scenes interview and conversation on "Media and Community Wellness", during the Key West Africana Festival with KWAF Co-Founder Dr. James Braxton Peterson and KWAF Ambassador and Keynote Speaker Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.

Wellness Workshops
The Wellness Workshops are informal and fun for vacationers during the Key West Africana Festival that will focus on Wellness. We anticipate workshops on 1) Community Wellness 2) Relationship Wellness 3) Physical Wellness. Each workshop panel will be lead by industry professionals from the worlds of the academy, medicine, spirituality, relationships and the Black community.

Cultural Heritage Tourism
This form of tourism is important for various reasons; it has a positive economic and social impact on the local Bahamian community, it establishes and reinforces identity, it helps preserve the local cultural heritage. And with culture as an instrument, it facilitates harmony and understanding among people, it supports culture and helps renew tourism. We believe Key West offers African Americans and people of the Diaspora a bonafide Jewel in Cultural Tourism. Key West is a perfect location for Africana Cultural Tourism because of:

·The African Cemetery
·Henrietta Marie (Salvaged Slave Ship)
·Bahama Village

The African Cemetery @ Higgs Beach
President Buchanan in 1859 ordered a blockade of Cuba with Navy steamers to intercept any American-owned slave ships. In the Spring of 1860, three slave ships intercepted by the US Navy in its efforts to stop the illegal trade in humans, were brought to Key West. Sailors boarded the Wildfire, the William and the Bogota, finding the Africans living in deplorable conditions. These American-owned ships were bound for Cuba, where their human cargo was to be sold to the thriving sugar plantations. A total of 1,432 Africans arrived from these ships, and they came with nothing. The 3,000 citizens of the island, led by United States Marshal Fernando Moreno, came together and built housing, donated clothing, and provided food and medical attention for them during their stay. These surprise guests were welcomed graciously. Soldiers, carpenters and others quickly built a barracks and a hospital on a three-acre compound on what is the United States' southernmost point. Many passed away and were buried in Key West and a memorial was erected to celebrate their lives.

Henrietta Marie
The Henrietta Marie was a slave ship that carried captive Africans to the West Indies, where they were sold as slaves. The ship wrecked at the southern tip of Florida on its way home to England, and is one of only a few wrecks of slave ships that have been identified. In the summer of 1700, the English merchant-slaver Henrietta Marie sank in unknown circumstances thirty-five miles west of Key West, Florida. Shortly before this mishap, she had sold a shipment of 190 captive Africans in Jamaica. The Mel Fisher Marine Museum in Key West houses the artifacts, which are considered the best preserved slave ship artifacts in the world.

Bahama Village
Bahama Village is a neighborhood in the City of Key West, Florida, Monroe County, United States. It is located southwest of downtown, in Old Town. It covers over a 16-block area that lies southwest of Whitehead Street and northeast of Truman Annex, bordered by Whitehead, Southard, Fort and Louisa Streets. It was once a primarily black neighborhood, and is named for its many original residents who were of Bahamian ancestry. The entrance to the village on Petronia Street has an open-air flea market, shops and restaurants, and has recently become a small tourist attraction. Bahamians began visiting the Florida Keys in the 18th century to salvage wrecked ships, fish, catch turtles and log tropical hardwood trees. A Bahamian settlement in the Keys was reported in 1790, but the presence of Bahamians in the keys was temporary. Early in the 19th century some 30 to 40 Bahamian ships were working in the keys every year. After 1825, Bahamian wreckers began moving to Key West in large numbers. Bahamians were among the first Caribbean’s to arrive to the mainland US in the late nineteenth century. Many went to Florida to work in agriculture or to Key West to labor in fishing, sponging, and turtling. Two main factors that contributed to increased Bahamian migration were the poor economic climate and opportunities, as well as the short distance from the Bahamas.

Festival Program Schedule & Description

Thursday – June, 19th

Registration & Welcoming Reception @ Rum Barrel Bar & Grille (7:00 -9:00 pm)

Please join us for the Official Welcoming Reception at the Key West Rum Barrel Bar & Grille. Launched in 2006 by former Philadelphia 76ers President Pat Croce, the newly revamped Rum Barrel evokes the aura of a seafarer’s paradise in the very heart of historic Old Town Key West, with more than 150 rums and an extensive collection of specialty and craft beers. (528 Front St., walking distance from La Concha Hotel).

Friday – June, 20th

Opening Panel Discussion @ San Carlos, 516 Duval St., (10:00 am) Open To The Public
Christopher Norwood, founder of The Key West Africana Festival will moderate a panel that includes Florida Senator Dwight Bullard and Dr. William Boone. The panel will focus on "Community Wellness within the Africana Diaspora".

Key West History and Culture @ San Carlos Museum (11:15 am)
Learning about the History of Key West by the experts. Presentation on the Key West African Cemetery by Corey Malcom, Director of Archaeology at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and Gene Tinnie, Miami-based visual artist, writer, educator, community activist and independent researcher and the Chairperson of the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, which is charged by the City of Miami with the restoration and management of Miami-Dade County’s onetime only “Colored Beach,” as a recreational, historic and environmental landmark and museum. Opening Remarks by City of Key West Commissioner Clayton Lopez, Clayton Lopez was born and raised in Key West. A fourth generation Key Wester, Clayton is the eldest of three boys and one girl born to Charles and Rose Lopez. Clayton's parental grandfather, Roosevelt Sands, was a well known community leader and servant. He was also Clayton's closest mentor. Clayton was raised in the famous "garden of Roses" house, now located on Whitehead Street.

Trolley to The African Cemetery/Lunch and Beach (12:45 pm)
“Conch Train” Tour to African Burial Ground at Higgs Beach. See the Best of Key West on the Train Tour that's been entertaining visitors to the Island City of Key West, Florida since 1958. The Conch Train is one of Florida's most popular attractions, and for a good reason. Lunch at "Salute on the Beach". Salute! is a Key West treasure, combining the dining excellence of well-loved sister-restaurant Blue Heaven with the atmosphere of a lovely beach-side cafe. Featuring lighter, Caribbean-influenced takes on Italian classics—with fresh breads, vegetables and local seafood. Returns at 5pm (Pick up at Salute Restaurant) back to Hotel.

Keynote Address and Conversations (Speaker T.B.A.) @ San Carlos (7:00 pm) Open To The Public     Last Year's Keynote Address featured American Book Award recipient Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me, Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Henrietta Marie Reception/Tour @ Mel Fisher Maritime Museum (8:00-9:30 pm)
Outdoor Reception Sponsored by Bacardi at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum Courtyard, with a Special Video Presentation of the Henrietta Marie (Slave Ship) and Private Tour of the Exhibit. The Henrietta Marie was a slave ship that carried captive Africans to the West Indies, where they were sold as slaves. The ship wrecked at the southern tip of Florida on its way home to England, and is one of only a few wrecks of slave ships that have been identified. In the summer of 1700, the English merchant-slaver Henrietta Marie sank in unknown circumstances thirty-five miles west of Key West, Florida. Shortly before this mishap, she had sold a shipment of 190 captive Africans in Jamaica. The Mel Fisher Marine Museum in Key West houses the artifacts, which are considered the best preserved slave ship artifacts in the world.

Nightly Entertainment @ Rick's Loft (11:00 pm)
The Key West Africana Festival is all about enjoying the Culture of Key West. Key West lays claim to more bars per capita than anywhere else in the United States. We will test this claim, while enjoying the sounds where Funk cruises through the Caribbean picking up Afro sounds from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Reggae meets rock in a head-on collision. Jazz and electro hook up for a sidewalk makeout session. Hip-hop seems to hum from the very pavement, and R&B drifts in on the night wind. This fusion reaches to far-flung corners and retrieves all these, takes them and mashing them together, marrying them—disparate players melded into a somehow harmonious blend. It defies logic that such diverse influences can find balance at the deft hands of one band. And yet they do.

Saturday – June, 21st

Relationship Wellness Workshop @ San Carlos Museum (10:30 am)
Relationships within the African American Community will be explored. Relationships with Our Wives/Husbands, Our Elders and Our Community. The Panel will include: Tieesha Taylor, Esq is the Managing Partner of The Elderly Care Law Firm, she will discuss the legal aspect of caring for our elders and the significance of the changing relationships of parents and children through the aging process. Dr. Eunice Peterson is a Psychiatrist at the Marshall I. Pickens Hospital for Behavioral Health in Greenville South Carolina where she focuses on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Peterson completed her Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the summer of 2011. She became employed with Greenville Hospital System in November of 2011. Dr. Peterson has dedicated a great deal of her time to service organizations and volunteer work. She recently served as a board member of CARING (Children’s Associated Resources Impacting Nurturing Growth) Networks in the Greater Baltimore area, and was co-chair of the Cultural Diversity Day Committee at the University of Maryland

Physical Wellness Workshop @ San Carlos Museum (11:30 am)
Physical Wellness in the Africana American Community is a huge Community Problem our Panel Members will explore: Dr. Barbara Peterson DDS is a dentist who specializes in dentistry, general practice, and oral & maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Peterson is licensed to practice in New York. She owns Aces Braces that focuses on orthodontic needs children. Barbara is also a member of the Key West Africana Festival Board of Directors. Kesha Hutton is a licensed physical therapist specializing in orthopedic and neurologic rehabilitation, she is a nationally qualified competitor within the National Physique Committee (NPC). Mrs. Hutton is a certified neurological clinical specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association and the owner of Jerseyfit Physical Therapy and Fitness. Within Jerseyfit, she provides physical therapy services and fitness training. In addition to practicing physical therapy, Mrs. Hutton has a passion for assisting clients achieve and maintain their health and fitness goals through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes. Mr. Jerome Wade is a physical education teacher in the Washington D.C. Public School System. Mr. Wade also heads the Partnership of Athletics, Therapy and Health (PATH) sponsored by the Washington D.C. Metro Police Department.

Watersports Excursions @ 2:00 pm (Optional). KWAF has arranged for two optional water-sports excursions of your choice:

Hydro Thunder Jet Ski Tour: Enjoy the thrill of a wet and wild ride on Key West waters on one of our new Jet Skis or Boats. Boat and Jet Ski Rentals are located in a scenic ride area. The most popular and exciting activity is our 27 mile professionally guided Jet Ski Key West Tour. This amazing tour circles Key West and nearby islands.
Speed along at up to 50 mph over crystal clear waters observing all manner of tropical sea life passing beneath your feet. Stops are made along the way for photo ops and observing the unique land and water geography of the Florida Keys. Enjoy a swim at halfway point on a sandbar while Navy Fighter Jets scream overhead on training flights. Cost 0, pick-up at La Concha at 2pm. Please speak with the Concierge.

Fury Catamaran Glass Bottom Boat: Explore dramatic underwater vistas generally reserved for scuba divers from our glass bottom boat. A wide variety of fish and other sea creatures await you as you gaze into the underwater world of Key West. In addition, you will have the opportunity to see North America’s only living coral reef, one of the most biologically diverse marine eco-systems in the world. Majestic elkhorn and impressive brain coral, sturdy in appearance yet fragile and vulnerable, stand sentry for the more than 300 species of fish that complete the colorful and intriguing seascape. Along the trip, our experienced captain and crew will provide a unique and informative eco-tour and point out some of the most interesting marine life that inhabit the waters of this incredible island. Special glass “windows to the reef” provide continuous viewing for all passengers. Fury Catamaran Glass Bottom Boat offers a seated sun deck and air-conditioned, enclosed viewing area as well as restrooms and a snack bar. The catamaran's twin hull design allows for maximum stability and much less rocking motion than traditional V-hull designs. Our boat is designed to allow maximum viewing with minimum stress to the delicate reef. Cost , Please speak with Concierge. Board at 1:30 pm at the end of Duval St. (left on Duval 4 blocks) Boat leaves at 2pm.

"The Bahama Village Gathering" – Bacardi Reception with Producers of Films @ Bahamas Village Market (5:30  – 7:00 pm)

Enjoy cocktails with the Filmmakers as we enjoy the hospitality of Bahama Village and its wonderful Vendors of Food, Arts and Crafts, Keepsakes and of course Complimentary Bacardi Rum.

Documentary Film Screenings and Discussion with Filmmakers @ 8pm, Open To The Public

The first screening starts at 8pm at the San Carlos and feature the PBS Digital Studios Documentary Series, “Beat Making Labs “and a discussion with Dr. William Boone. Beat Making Lab is an incredible new PBS show devoted to music and empowering young people. Created by producer/DJ Stephen Levitin (aka the Apple Juice Kid) in partnership with professor and hip hop artist Pierce Freelon, who both teach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Beat Making Lab crew brings portable studios “small enough to fit in a backpack” to youths around the world. Their goal is to make a social impact by giving young people the tools to change their lives through making songs and beats.

Last year in (2013) The KWAF Board of Directors was pleased to provide a Premiere Screening at the Key West Africana Festival of "Sunken Stories", an episode of the PBS Emmy Award Winning Maritime Archaeology Series "Changing Seas" with Q&A with the Producers and Crew. The episode chronicles the suspected discovery of the Guerrero, a Spanish slave ship which wrecked in 1827 on a reef near the Florida Keys with 561 Africans aboard. Forty-one of the Africans drowned in the wreck. Guerrero had been engaged in a battle with a British anti-slavery patrol ship, HMS Nimble, stationed on the northern approaches to Cuba. Nimble also ran onto the reef, but was refloated and returned to service. The two ships were attended by wreckers, who rescued the Spanish crew and surviving Africans from their ship and helped refloat Nimble. Spanish crew members hijacked two of the wrecking vessels and took almost 400 Africans to Cuba, where they were sold as slaves. Most of the remaining Africans were eventually returned to Africa. In 2014 we have another incredible documentary feature, so stay tuned!

90 Mile Cigar Bar and Blues Lounge @ 300 Front Street (10:00 pm)                                              Join us to hear the amazing “Moose and the Bullet Proof Blues Band” while enjoying the aroma of the best Cigars 90 Miles from Cuba. KWAF registrants enjoy 20% off Dinner, Drinks and Cigars.

Sunday – June, 22nd

Golf Outing @ Key West Golf Club (Tee Times at 7:00 am and 9:00 am) (Optional)
At the entrance to the island of Key West, the unique Key West Golf Club's 18 holes encompass over 200 acres of beautiful Florida Keys foliage and wildlife. Key West Golf Club Golf legend REES JONES masterfully designed the Key West Golf Course, an 18 hole, 6,500 yard course to be a challenge to players of all abilities. Come meet all the exciting challenges of the Key West Golf Course, including the infamous "Mangrove Hole" (143 yards, par 3 that is played completely over a field of thickly intertwined tropical mangroves) Located in the heart of Key West, Florida the Key West Golf Club is the only Caribbean golf course in the United States. 

KWAF Founder on "Good Morning Florida Keys with Jenna Stauffer: The Program (6/2013)

at La Concha Hotel

430 Duval St

Key West, United States

The Key West Africana Festival² is a post from: Nevada Sunshine

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