by Kia O. Moore
The Huetiful Celebration will take over the Historic West End on Saturday, July 18 from 9 am to 8 pm. The Festival will celebrate the Black Community in all of its beautiful hues. It is an event designed to empower Historic West End communities and fellow Charlotteans to stand in solidarity against racial injustice and inequity.
Community members are encouraged to decorate their home, driveway, or sidewalk with messages showing support for the Black community and the vibrancy of Charlotte's historic African American corridor. Participating small businesses, creatives, the 5 Points Community collaborative, the Historic West End Partners, For the Struggle and their cohort will host community art projects, live music and cultural knowledge sessions.
Black-owned food trucks and entrepreneurs will also be out and about in the community. Not only will there be activities to support the Black community, businesses are also selling products to benefit the local black community too. Huetiful t-shirts can be purchased on the day of the event at Town Brewing and Blue Blaze Brewing for $20.00 each. All of the proceeds will be donated to ASPIRE Community Capital, an organization committed to helping business owners in under-resourced communities by teaching entrepreneurs how to build businesses within their own neighborhoods.
The West End neighborhoods hosting the celebration are Wesley Height @ 5 Points and Lincoln Heights @ LaSalle. The day will start with residents and visitors browsing the isles of the Saturday farmers market at Blue Blaze Brewery (528 South Turner Ave.). For this special event this weekend market will run from 9 am to noon. The Historic West End Market farmers line will offer a plethora of fresh veggies, fruit and a free 10 lb bag of chicken with purchases of $20 or more while supplies last. This segment of the event promotes the Historic West End's #WeStrongWeFit campaign. It is being hosted by Blue Blaze Brewing, The Males Place, Inc, the Historic West End Partners and Unite Charlotte.
For Wesley Heights from 12pm to 6pm the celebration will be more of an art crawl. Neighbors can meander through the neighborhood and interact with community arts projects, live music, and take in the sights of the decorated houses. People in the neighborhood are invited to participate by decorating their house and driveway in a manner that supports the black community.
Lincoln Heights will close the celebration with a Dinner en Noir (In Black) from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. It will be a casual, socially distanced, culturally themed, pop-up communal style dinner on the blocks bordering the award winning Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park. The musical headliner will be the jazz ensemble A Sign of the Times led by Mr. Tyrone Jefferson. African-themed entertainment will be the order of the evening beginning at 6 pm. Citizens from across the city are asked to bring a table, chairs and the meal of their choice as we break bread in unity and solidarity on Catherine Simmons Avenue between Madrid Street and Kennesaw Drive. For your convenience, American Deli, Original Chicken & Ribs, Tropical Goodies and West End Fresh Seafood are prepared to supply your dining needs with their Huetiful specials. Onsite a vegan and non-vegan food provider, mask and table coverings will be available. See the menue below from the Woo's Kitchen Food Truck for the dinner.
This unique celebration is the brainchild of KaTonya Wilson, Vice President of the Wesley Heights Neighborhood Association.The idea for starting the Huetiful Celebration came from raw emotion of reacting to the racial injustices in the headlines and the murmurs of creating a special beer to benefit the community that is experiencing these injustices first-hand. Wilson attended a neighborhood meeting as usual, but she came with the intention of brainstorming an idea of doing something to respond to the current racial injustice sweeping the headlines. At that meeting, fellow board member and Secretary Caitlin Biggers alerted the team of a possible collaboration with a local brewery that wanted to respond to the racial injustice. From that conversation the idea began to bubble about ways in which the neighborhood could get involved in this mission of standing against racial injustice and in solidarity with the Black community. It then grew into providing a weekend farmers market, art crawl, and community dinner experience.
Learn more about what is happening during the Huetiful Celebration below:
More information about the Huetiful Festival can be found here: Click Here!