Sign up for our newsletters    

Baltimore City Paper home page.

African American Festival has the theme “Happy,” a lineup featuring Johnny Gill and Brandy

April 2, 2014

Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 2.14.48 PMRarely — and we mean rarely — do we get excited when a press release from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pops into our inbox. But when we clicked on the release announcing the lineup for the  38th Annual African American Festival and saw the festival’s theme was “Happy,” we scrolled down with anticipation, thinking the city had scored a major coup and landed pop megastar Pharrell (and his goofy Arby’s hat).

Undoubtedly the mere mention of Pharrell and “Happy” in the same sentence has already got “Because I’m hapyyyyy/ Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth” buzzing through your head space. In the event you’re just waking up from a long winter hibernation, we’re of course referring the pop smash (below) that still sits atop the charts and continues the former Neptunes producer’s streak of huge hits.

Still, the lineup does feature Brandy, singer of plenty of hits in her own right, crooner Johnny Gill, R&B band Mint Condition, gospel group The Choir Boyz and Preachers of L.A. star Deitrick Haddon, along with Monifa, Chico DeBarge, and Jacob Latimore. And the whole festival, which takes place June 20-21 at Camden Yards, is free. So good on ya for that, SRB. But the big fish for 2015 is certainly out there. Aim high!

  • Sean Tully

    Poor black people get ripped off so bad. We have (or used to have) the Irish-Festival, the Polish-Festival, etc., etc. But because of our horrible racist past, people with African ancestry cannot trace their roots back to a specific place, generally. I propose we get rid of all the different festivals that celebrate white culture and replace them with an European-American Festival to go along with the African-American Festival. 10-1 that would be viewed a politically incorrect for some reason.

  • A.Mad

    Hmmm…. Will most likely be attending the festival this year. I enjoyed myself at last year’s. and to see Brandy?? Umm hell yahh.