Thursday, November 23, 2017
African Marketplace & Cultural Fair Joins 2009 Taste of Soul Festival
By Jasmyne A. Cannick (Contributing Writer)
Published September 17, 2009

African Marketplace & Cultural Faire Joins 2009 Taste of Soul Festival

Celebrated Cultural Event Finds Temporary Home with Famed Crenshaw Boulevard Festival for 2009

The 2009 Taste of Soul Festival recently announced its plans to bring the African Marketplace and Cultural Faire to Crenshaw Boulevard as a part of its annual signature festival taking place Saturday, October 17, 2009. After it was announced that this year’s African Marketplace would be cancelled due to the costs associated with producing the event, Taste of Soul event organizers quickly reached out the producers of the African Marketplace to work out a collaboration that would benefit the community who has grown accustomed to celebrating both festivals. The Taste of Soul Festival features the best in soul food cuisine and live entertainment and is billed as Los Angeles’ largest street festival taking place outside on Crenshaw Boulevard between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rodeo Boulevard with over 100,000 attendees from all over Southern California.

“For 23 years the African Marketplace has been a staple in Los Angeles providing a bridge into the African Diaspora,” explained Danny J. Bakewell Sr., founder of the Taste of Soul Festival and executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper. “We’re excited at the opportunity to make sure that this year doesn’t go by without there being a Marketplace and are happy to have it as an official part of the Taste of Soul Festival.”

“We are excited about bringing the Marketplace to the Taste of Soul Festival this year,” continues James V. Burks, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the African Marketplace and Cultural Faire. “We look forward to bringing back the Marketplace in 2010 and are pleased to have committed support from City Council Members Jan Perry, Herb Wesson, Bernard Parks and Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, along with Assemblymember Mike Davis and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Congressmembers Maxine Waters and Diane Watson, the City Department of Cultural Affairs and the LA County Arts Commission. We are eagerly looking forward to making this an even larger event for everyone in 2010.”

Founded in 1985, the African Marketplace was designed to connect Africa and African Diaspora communities and included several villages representing Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Pacific Rim, along with a Village Gourd Festival, a Music Festival, the African Business Expo, entertainment, and arts and crafts. Held annually at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center in Los Angeles, the event attracts more than one hundred thousand attendees each year. African Marketplace, Inc., a privately owned events and publishing company and host of the annual African Marketplace and Cultural Faire, recently announced that it will focus its efforts over the next 12 months on an expanded program for the 2010 Los Angeles African Marketplace and Cultural Fair. The company also announced plans to produce a series of events celebrating the mission of the nation’s number one multi-cultural event that promotes tourism and networking between cultures of the African Diaspora in Los Angeles.

“We will continue with our mission to increase the awareness of cultures and their economic impact on Africa and surrounding African Diaspora communities by producing smaller components of other annual festivals and celebrations,” said Burks. “We’re currently raising funds for a float in the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade and we will announce a 2009/10 calendar of events in the coming weeks.”

For more information on the 2010 Los Angeles African Marketplace and Cultural Faire and events planned please visit or call (323) 293-1612. For more on this year’s Taste of Soul Festival, including sponsorship and vendor information, log onto or call (323) 299-3800 and continue to read the Los Angeles Sentinel as we roll out the largest street festival in Los Angeles.

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