Listen, I will travel to just about anywhere for any type of event if it has good food, people and fun activities. But, events that cater to black folks hold a special place in my heart and will shoot right to the top of my “must visit” list. After visiting events like Essence Festival several times, the inaugural Family Reunion or a good ole HBCU football classic, I started thinking about what are the quintessential black events. I polled my audience and did some googling as well. Here are some of the events I came up i.e. Blackity Black Events for 2022. If you know of additional events, please drop them in the comments.
Black Ski Weekend – January 14-17, 2022 (typically held during MLK weekend)
Afro Tech -Miami February 3rd
Zulu Coronation Ball -New Orleans February 25, 2022
New Orleanians that I know have always described this ball to me as THE must attend event for black folks during Mardi Gras. Yes, there is more to Mardis Gras than flashing down on Bourbon. A fellow blogger noted that this is the first year the tickets are up on Eventbrite, so any of us can attend.
NAACP Image Awards, February 26,2022 in Los Angeles
This is not an event I would have thought of considering, but it does seem like it would be a good time. Our Oscars so to speak.
Afro Tech Brooklyn (exact dates not available yet)
Blackout Weekend March 10-13 (Black ski weekend) Lake Tahoe
Black Heritage Day at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, March 11th
Allow me a moment of privilege as a Houstonian and a member of the Black Heritage Committee. You all watched the Harder They Fall this year and I imagine have a new appreciation for the existence of Black cowboys. Black Heritage night at the rodeo celebrates just that. I have attended since childhood and I gotta say it is a unique experience. This year will feature local legend Bun B and friends (likely other Houston greats). Be sure to check out it out.
Jazz In the Gardens March 12-13, 2022 in Miami, Florida
Hoorae March 25-27th in Washington DC
The inaugural event is hosted by Issa Rae at the Kennedy Center. The festival will include the Read, a sneak peek of Issa Rae’s newest project and musical performances by Jazmine Sullivan. The details on this event were pretty scarce, but by joining her Pateron my friends and I lucked up on some tickets. Some of the events are still available on the Kennedy Center website, and based on what I can tell resell for this will not be like other events.
Nothing yet, but I will circle back once I have something!
Afro Tech -Washington DC (exact dates not available yet)
Soul Beach Music Fest – May 25-30, 2022 in Aruba
I visited Aruba a few years back and LOVED it. Going back for a soul music festival sounds just about perfect.
Afro Tech -Bay Area (exact dates not available yet)
Black Film Festival Miami June 15-19th
Juneteenth- Saturday June 19,2022
Someone told me Harlem, but as someone who grew up in Houston, where Juneteenth started,I don’t think I am allowed to say that. To me, the quintessential Juneteenth would be in Galveston or Houston. Here is a reel I did with things to do in Galveston for Juneteenth. I will update once other Juneteenth events are finalized.
Urban Camp Weekend June 24-26 in Kilgore, Texas (tickets are already on sale and note that the organization hosts other travel events throughout the year)
I have never been, but I’ve been in the Facebook group for years and people seem to really enjoy it. If you want more insights I’d check out the FAQ on their website and their Facebook group.
Essence Festival in New Orleans -June 30-July 3rd
Probably the one event everyone knows about. Located in New Orleans during fourth of July weekend, Essence is a celebration of black music and culture. I’ve attended twice and absolutely loved it. Check out my recaps here for more information.
Black August at Martha’s Vineyard
So my followers tell me the month of August is referred to as BLACK August in Martha’s Vineyard because of all of the events catered to Black folks. Sounds like my kind of party. I am still getting to the root of all of the events, but one that I learned about is the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival hosted August 5-13, 2022. Tickets are already on sale.
The Family Reunion – August 18-22, 2022 at the Salamander Resort in VA
The inaugural year was AMAZING. You can check out my recap here. Soon after they announced the date for 2022 which is listed above, but it is now noticeably absent from the website so pencil that in. No details on when the tickets will be released, but I would recommend signing up for their listserv so you are the first to know.
Afro Tech – Los Angeles (exact dates not released yet)
Southern Heritage Classic September 8-10, 2022, Memphis, Tennessee, Jackson State vs. Tennessee State University
Now someone is going to yell at me for not including all of the classics, because there are A LOT. I am making a point to include the largest most popular, but feel free to make the case for your favorite in the comments below!
A friend of mine suggested we attend the classic in 2021 because this years match up would not only include the long time rival schools, but NFL legends Deion Sanders and Eddie George as coaches. Y’all… we had so much fun on that dang trip! Be sure to read my recap here and yes I would expect the classic to be just as fun in 2022.
One Music Fest – October 8-9, 2022
Bayhaven Food & Wine Festival (dates have not been announced, the inaugural event was hosted in October in Charlotte, NC)
Magic City Classic -October 29, 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama with Alabama A&M University vs. Alabama State University
Many of my followers/friends, especially Mr. Southern Brand said the Magic City Classic is a must attend as it is the largest Classic and pits cross site rivals against each other for the annual showdown. As you think about attending classics, I personally think the bests are the ones where the neutral site has some connection to the schools and is home to a lot of the alumni.
Bayou Classic Weekend November 25-27,2022, in New Orleans, Grambling State University and Bayou Classic
I mean, it’s New Orleans… that alone makes it an experience.
Afrochella in Accra, Ghana (last week in December)
The last few years, I have seen various folks traveling to Ghana the last week of December. What is the appeal you ask? The obvious connection to West Africa of course and then a one of a kind event, Afrochella. The name is clearly a play on Coachella, but the pictures tell me this is anything but in fact it is the epitome of what this whole list is about. The last one just ended as I write this, so details for next year are not out yet. Be sure to follow their Instagram and website for updates.
So many options here folks for things to enjoy. I am still doing more research on international events to add, so please be sure to drop them in the comments if you know some. Also, my wallet and work schedule will never allow me to attend all of these events so if you have attended them please share your thoughts in the comments. For my fellow bloggers, you can break the blogger rule and drop your recaps below too :).