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Beacon Hill Black Alliance hosting Pan African Festival this weekend


Beacon Hill Black Alliance hosting Pan African Festival this weekend

Members of Giwayen Mata performs during the city of Decatur’s first Pan African Festival hosted by the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights in the Decatur Square on Saturday, Aug. 28. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights is hosting the Pan African Festival on Aug. 18-19.

The festival will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, with a free showing of the documentary “The Big Paycheck” at the Decatur High School Performing Arts Center, located at 310 N. McDonough Street in Decatur. The film follows a rookie alderwoman in Evanston, Illinois named Robin Rue Simmons as she passes the nation’s first tax-funded reparations bill for Black Americans and stirs up a debate about how communities can best make amends for past racial injustices, according to a press release. There will be a panel discussion with reparations experts following the film.

The panel will feature Dr. Akinyele Umoja, Jumoke Ifetayo, Professor Reginald Muhammad, and Decatur City Commissioner Lesa Mayer. As part of the discussion, Robin Rue Simmons will also share insights and perspectives on her experiences portrayed in the documentary.

“This documentary is thought-provoking and challenging for community members committed to racial justice. We encourage the entire community to come out for the important conversation that follows the film,” said Mawuli Davis, Beacon Hill Reparations Co-Chair.

The third annual Pan African Festival will be held from 2-10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, on the Decatur Square. The festival theme this year is “Liberations Rising: Remember, Resist, Rejoice.”  The festival is free and will be a celebration of Pan African culture, heritage, and entertainment. There will be an African Market Place, Children’s Village, and various performances.

There will also be a 12-stop walking tour highlighting Decatur’s history. Here is a list of the stops:

1. Celebration sculpture
On the MARTA Plaza, Commemorating Mayor Emerita Elizabeth Wilson’s service to Decatur

2. Contextual marker
at the site of the “Lost Cause” monument to the Confederacy

3. Future John Lewis Monument Site
Former Confederate memorial monument site, directly behind the Old Courthouse on the Square, 101 E Court Square

4. Cannon from 1836 “Indian Wars”
Behind the Old Courthouse on the Square, 101 E Court Square

5. Historical Marker: Lynching in DeKalb County
DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 N. McDonough St.

6. Historical Marker: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Decatur
120 W. Trinity Pl., southeast corner of N. McDonough Street and W. Trinity Place

7. Black Lives Matter Street Painting 
In front of Decatur High School, 310 N. McDonough St.

8. Beacon Community: The Bottom 
Allen Wilson Terrace Apartments, 1450 Commerce Dr.

9. Beacon Community Churches 
Robin Street

10. Ebster Park 
404 W. Trinity Pl.

11. Elizabeth Wilson School Support Center 
420 W. Trinity Pl.

12. Beacon Municipal Center 
420 W. Trinity Pl.

For more information about the festival, click here.

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