29th Annual Umoja Festival Continues Legacy of Unity and Cultural Understanding

(PORTSMOUTH, VA – May 13, 2019) – Umoja is a Kiswahili word meaning unity – unity in the family, community and nation. In Portsmouth, Umoja is an annual festival and celebration of family and African-American heritage, culture and customs. With origins dating back to 1991, city leaders realized the importance of cultural diversity, and the benefits of community exploration. Welcoming everyone to the historic port city, the 29th Umoja Festival starts Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26.

Featured musical acts include Plunky & Oneness Friday, May 24; Dazz Band, Saturday, May 25, and John Foxx and New Fellowship Sunday, May 26. All performances will take place on the Umoja Stage in Festival Park and are FREE and open to the public.

Here is the full list of entertainment and activities:
Friday, May 24
5:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremony
5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.: Festival Marketplace
6:15 p.m.: United Souls
8:00 p.m.: Plunky & Oneness
9:45 p.m.: Kustom Made Band

Saturday, May 25
12:00 p.m.: Children’s Area Opens
Bounce houses, face painting, games & crafts, mural painting
Noon – 11 p.m.: Festival Marketplace
2:00 p.m.: Michael Clark Band
2:00 & 4:00 pm: African-American Heritage Tour – Come Freedom, Come
3:15 p.m.: DIVA’s of Funk & Soul
4:30 p.m.: Absolute Fire Band
5:00 pm: African-American Heritage Tour – Truxtun Celebrates Centennial Anniversary
5:45 p.m.: Fuzz Band
7:15 p.m.: RaJazz
9:00 p.m.: Dazz Band

Sunday, May 26
2:00 p.m.: Children’s Area Opens
Bounce houses, face painting, games & crafts, mural painting
Gospel Music Sunday
2:00 – 7:00 p.m.: Festival Marketplace
2:00 p.m.: Jo’sef Haynes & United
2:00 & 4:00 pm: African-American Heritage Tour – Meet Frederick Douglass
2:45 p.m.: Brian Hill and Provenance
3:00 pm: African-American Heritage Tour – Truxtun Celebrates Centennial Anniversary
3:30 p.m.: Patrick Riddick
4:30 p.m.: Kam Blue & Second Calvary Baptist Church Choir
5:15 p.m.: Earl Bynum & The Mount Unity Choir
6:00 p.m.: John Foxx and Fellowship

A new addition to this year’s African-American Heritage Tours is a short trip through historic Truxtun. The community is observing its centennial anniversary this year. The tour, conducted by James Ford (re-enacted by George Eason), Manager of the Homes Registration and Information Division in the U.S. Housing Corporation, takes participants through the first planned housing development designed exclusively for African-American shipyard workers migrating to Portsmouth during WWI. Truxtun was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Make plans to bring the whole family to Portsmouth for the 29th Annual Umoja Festival. Enjoy amazing food, live music, market-styled shopping and African-American heritage tours. Share your festival experience using our SnapChat filter. Use the hashtag #UmojaFestPortsmouth. For more information, call 757-393-8481.