The Harrisonburg-Rockingham African-American Festival (HRAAF) began as a grassroots effort to bring attention to and celebrate the heritage, achievements and contributions of Harrisonburg's and Rockingham's African-American communities.

 

In 1992, a group of citizens from Harrisonburg and Rockingham, concerned about the lack of history and positive acknowledgement of African-Americans' contributions to the area, met and formed the HRAAF's first planning committee.  They were:  Patricia Blakey, Carter Bundy, Mary Hayes, Patricia Knight, Sammy Knight, JoAnn Taylor, Felicia Banks Thomas, Naomi Thomas, Chris Washburn and Doris Washington.  New York graphic designer Mark Hayes designed the logo that is still in use today.

 

Months later, the first Festival was held in front of the Lucy Simms School building.  People from all over the region attended.  Ethnic foods and crafts were sold, and there were displays outlining the communities' histories.

 

All of the churches within Harrisonburg's northeast community participated, and several of their gospel choirs performed.  This tradition has continued over the years and has grown to include churches from all over Rockingham County.

 

This year, 2019, is the Festival's 26th year!  It has taken a tremendous hands-on approach from the community and extended support from those organizations that have given time, resources and money. 

 

And you can still help to keep the Festival an event that the community looks forward to every year!  We are currently looking for individual and business sponsors, as well as volunteers. 

 

il1.jpg
il1.jpg
press to zoom
DSC_1.JPG
DSC_1.JPG
press to zoom
hraaf2.JPG
hraaf2.JPG
press to zoom
hraaf3.JPG
hraaf3.JPG
press to zoom

About Us