Florida’s African-American Events

By: Andrew J. Skerritt

ADD TO FAVORITES

From Eatonville’s Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities in late January to Sunrise’s Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival in November, Florida lures African-Americans all year long, with a calendar rich in cultural, professional and culinary events.

They come for food, friends and football, beaches and business, music and motorcycles -- at events stretching from Pensacola to Miami Beach.

In May, more than 5,000 filmmakers, executives and movie fans converge on Miami Beach for the American Black Film Festival. The three-day event is considered the “leading venue for African-American and urban content,” and also features premieres of short films, narrative and documentaries.

For those whose visual entertainment preferences tend toward live action, May in South Florida offers up Urban Beach Week, five days of concerts, parties and unstructured revelry in Miami Beach around Memorial Day weekend.

Before that, however, winter’s chill prods Northerners and Midwesterners to turn their attention to the Jazz in the Gardens in Miami Gardens, where each March some of the best voices in R&B perform. According to organizers, more 63,000 people walked through the turnstiles for a recent event. Most came from outside South Florida, hailing mainly from the Caribbean, Canada and the continental United States.

Over the years, stars including Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, John Legend, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight have graced the stage at Sun Life Stadium. 

While Jazz in the Gardens and other music festivals are magnets for merriment, the annual Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando is all about business. The three-day event attracts up to 700 female business executives and entrepreneurs in big groups from “Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, D.C,. California -- really all over,” said Alyssa Fant, events program director for Black Enterprise.

“The event was created for executive women of color. It was created so that companies would really have to invest in those women,” Fant said. The conference offers sessions in professional development, such as how to negotiate salaries, and lifestyle development, including golf and tennis clinics and spa treatments.

 “The idea is that a happy life makes a happy worker,” Fant said. “You have to invest in their overall selves to get the best out of them.”

Florida’s diversity makes it a natural for many ethnic events, especially those that celebrate the state’s sizable Caribbean population.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the carnival season in Florida doesn’t end on Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. It heats up Memorial Day weekend with the Orlando Carnival, followed by celebrations of calypso, soca and everything Caribbean in Tampa (June), Jacksonville (September) and the granddaddy of Sunshine State carnivals in Miami-Fort Lauderdale (Columbus Day weekend in October).

Among the Caribbean-flavored events is the Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival, a June celebration of the presence of Bahamian immigrants in South Florida.

Florida’s ethnic diversity is also evident at the dining table. In September, foodies can head west to Pensacola for the annual Seafood Festival. The City of Five Flags isn’t called the Red Snapper capital of the world without good reason. The culinary celebration is just one of the cultural and musical reasons to visit the city of white sand beaches throughout the year.

For food tourists who prefer spicier fare, the Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival is mandatory. Held in Sunrise, the “largest Caribbean food festival in the United States” attracts about 16, 000 people, including professional chefs, home cooks and food and music lovers.

Strategically scheduled in November, the festival attracts large numbers of people from New York and people from the islands, especially the Bahamas and Jamaica, according to Eddy Edwards, chairman of the board and founder of the event.

“Folks in New York come down for the weather, and folks from the islands come here to enjoy some of their culture and get some shopping done,” Edwards said. “It’s never a bad time to shop.”

JANUARY

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival
Tampa
tampablackheritage.org/

Soul Roll Invitational Skate Jam
Tampa
getyoursk8on.wordpress.com/

Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities
Eatonville
zorafestival.org

FEBRUARY

Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit
Orlando
blackenterprise.com/events/women-of-power-summit/

MARCH

Miami International Film Festival – Miami
miamifilmfestival.com/

Jazz in the Gardens
Miami Gardens
jazzinthegardens.com/

Fashion Week in Miami
Miami
miamifashionweek.com

APRIL

Pensacola Jazz Festival
Pensacola
jazzpensacola.com

Miami Dance Festival
Miami
momentumdance.com/overview/

Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage
Miami
fantasticvoyage.blackamericaweb.com

Springing the Blues Festival
Jacksonville
springingtheblues.com

Seabreeze Jazz Festival
Panama City
seabreezejazzfestival.com

MAY

Urban Beach Week
Miami Beach
urbanbeachweek.us/

JUNE

Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival
Coconut Grove
coconutgrove.com/goombay-festival/

Tampa Caribbean Carnival
Tampa
carnivaltampa.com/

American Black Film Festival
Miami
abff.com/festival/

AUGUST

Jamaican Fest
Pensacola
splashpensacolabeach.com/

SEPTEMBER

MEAC/SWAC Challenge
Orlando
meacswacchallenge.com/

Labor Day Blues Fest
Pensacola
pcola.com/event

Tom Joyner Family Reunion
Orlando
familyreunion.blackamericaweb.com/

Caribbean Carnival
Jacksonville
jacksonvillecarnival.com/

Pensacola Seafood Festival
Pensacola
fiestaoffiveflags.org/pensacola-seafood-festival

OCTOBER

Miami Broward One Carnival
Broward and Miami-Dade County
smallislandent.com/mboc/

NOVEMBER

Annual Walt Disney Florida Classic
Orlando
famu.edu/



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Would it be possible for you to list this event on your website?? I am the bass player for Simply Tina, the best Tina Turner tribute band on Earth. THANKS !

Boca Black Box Center for the Arts will be hosting a high energy, fantastic Tina Turner tribute concert by Simply Tina. Band performs all the Tina Turner songs that you love including River Deep Mountain High, Proud Mary, Nutbush City, What's Love Got to do With It, Simply the Best and many more. Simply Tina is 10 piece live band with beautiful choreographed dancers. The lead singer transforms into Tina Turner. Show is great for all ages and makes a great night out for friends and family. Don't miss this great show - it's the closest thing you'll see to a real Tina Turner concert since Miss Turner's retirement in 2009. Boca Black Box theater located 8221 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33434, NW corner of Glades Rd and Boca Rio road behind Public Storage and Dunkin Donuts. Theater is a beautiful, indoor, air conditioned venue. Venue has a full bar - (no food).


Summary:
Tina Turner Tribute Concert by Simply Tina
Date: Oct 30th, 2015
Time: 8 pm
Venue: Boca Black Box Center for the Arts
8221 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Venue phone: 561-483-9036
Tickets start at only $20.00
Tickets link: http://bocablackbox.ticketleap.com/simply-tina-tina-turner-tribute-show/
Venue link: http://BocaBlackBox.com