African American history is inextricably entwined in the history of the United States. Their story is one that echoes through the United States constitution and they were just as responsible as any other race for the turning the country into the superpower that it is today. The Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival in Durham is one of many events that are organized through out the country to celebrate the diverse culture of this special group of Americans.

Having been transported to North America as slaves for the cotton fields, African Americans have long since broken free of the stereotypes that used to govern their lives. This has allowed for free expression of their thoughts and aspiration via a unique cultural medium. It is unique in that it is world’s apart from the European culture of their former landlords and also because centuries of isolation from Africa has allowed this culture to acquire its own identity.

The songs that are sung and the dramas that are staged at the Bimbe Cultural Festival echo the long and arduous journey that African Americans have endured. From servitude in the 17th century, their contribution to the United States military, racial segregation, the Civil Rights movement and today a black man holding office in the white house reflects a hard yet rewarding journey.
The Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival which will be held from the 17th to the 23rd of May will feature a host of local and international artistes from the fields of music, drama and art. The concept of such a festival was borne by a group students studying at Duke University in 1969. They organized the inaugural event to coincide with the traditional West African harvest ceremonies, which are also characterized by their colorful celebratory performances. From humble beginnings this festival today attracts thousands of visitors not only from Durham but also from neighboring areas.

Chapel Hill hotels such as the Millennium Hotel Durham offer excellent access to this festival which has been hosted at the CCB Plaza in downtown. Durham North Carolina lodging can be rather difficult to find during this festival as the large influx tourists may overwhelm the hospitality industry during this time, so early booking is definitely the way to go.