First annual Black Arts Festival kicks off

May 12, 1969

The first annual Black Arts Festival kicked off. Coordinated by the Black Student Union, the week-long event featured appearances by James Brown, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, Ruby Dee, and the Muddy Waters Blues Band. The purpose of the festival was to educate whites about Black culture and to strengthen the pride and unity of Black students.

Poster from the 20th Annual Black Arts Fest