‘Land of upright people’ highlight Africa In April

smitchell@tri-statedefender.com | 4/17/2014, noon

"While the Republic of Burkina is not as well-known as some other African nations, it's history and heritage is just as intriguing and fascinating. Festival-goers are in for a real treat this year."
The African International Business and Economic Trade Luncheon kicked off this year's festivities at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis on Wednesday.

Upcoming scheduled events will be staged in Robert R. Church Park at historic Beale Street in Downtown Memphis. Vendors and festival sponsors will be on hand to provide authentic African dishes, clothing, household goods and jewelry for "a taste of the Burkina experience."

African dancers and other performers will headline a Friday morning International Diversity Parade. Daily activities will culminate Sunday with an International African-American Music Day, featuring jazz, gospel and reggae performers and artists.

Acey, along with wife, Yvonne Acey, have guided the Africa In April Cultural Awareness enterprise for 24 years with the mission of creating "a better understanding and appreciation for African traditions, thereby increasing the respect for one's ethnicity."

Burkina is home to 63 ethnic groups, nearly 16 million people.

The Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival schedule

International Entrepreneur's Day on Wednesday featured the African International Business & Economic Trade Luncheon at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis. It included the naming of The LeMoyne-Owen College President Johnny B. Watson as the 2014-15 Executive of the Year.

Thursday, April 17
International Vendors/Marketplace Set-up Day
Beale St. at Robert R. Church Park
11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Friday, April 18
Children & Senior Citizens Day International Diversity Parade
Beale St. at Robert R. Church Park
10:30 a.m.

Saturday, April 19
Family Health/Wellness,
Community Day Blues Showcase
Beale St. at Robert R. Church Park
8 a.m.-until

Sunday, April 20
International African-American Music
Day Jazz, Gospel & Reggae Fest
Beale St. at Robert R. Church Park
8 a.m.-8 pm

(For more information on the festival's events this week, call 901-947-2133, or visit www.africainapril.com.)