Nubian Jam festival celebrates African and African American culture July 31

A celebration of African and African American culture, the Nubian Jam, is this Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Forest Park in Everett, with focus on community connectedness through education and entertainment as a bridge to bring families together.

Since 1992, Nubian Jam, meaning, “Beautiful People,” has been recognizing elders and youth contributing to change, through its “Roots, Stems, and Roses” event that Roy L. Pleasant began in 1981 in Yakima. Pleasant, who died in 2013, touched the lives of many through his advocacy work statewide, wanted to strengthen both family and neighborhood bonds in African American communities.

“Nubian Jam is a safe place for youth to express themselves and to honor one another – and to be with other people who look like and understand them,” said DanVo’nique Bletson-Reed, president of the Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee, a nonprofit committed to inspiring, educating and encouraging positive self-awareness of the Black culture. And for elders, Bletson-Reed explained, “We see them and give them a pat on the back to keep doing what they are doing. We stand on their shoulders.”

Nubian Jam will feature local talent, music, youth activities, health care services, inspirational speakers, art, food, vendors and a family-oriented environment.

“You can let your hair down and be free. Be who you are without explanation or apologies,” Bletson-Reed said. “This is a once-a-year event, but it really should be held more often.”

Admission to Nubian Jam is free at Forest Park, 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd., Everett.

For more information, go to: www.beloved4all.org/nubianjam.

— By Misha Carter

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