National Museum of African American History and Culture is hosting a free, three-day, two-night festival (Sept. 23-25) near the museum, block party style.
The Roots and Public Enemy are scheduled to headline the festival, Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration. In addition to the hip-hop legends, the event will also feature veteran producer 9th Wonder, go-go stars Experience Unlimited and D.C. native, Meshell Ndegeocello (who scores Ava DuVernay’s new series, Queen Sugar).
For The Roots and Public Enemy, the festival is about more than just the music. Chuck D actually has a banner that he designed hanging in the museum (he’s a former art student). The museum also features a quote from Questlove on its walls. In addition to performing at the festival, Questlove and Chuck D collaborated on another recent project, when they teamed up with over 100 international superstars to fight violence and hate around the world through the “We Are Not Afraid” campaign.
As for the festival, the three-day event will take place on the Washington Monument grounds between 15th and 17th streets NW. It begins Friday, Sept. 23 and for the next two days, activities will run from noon until 5 p.m. The festival is organized in part by a curator of the Smithsonian’s annual Folklife Festival, and will also include dance and spoken-word performances, storytelling and live muraling.