Today is Monday, but if we could we would be reliving last weekend. AFRICON shut down downtown Los Angeles with four days of events. If attendees ever felt disconnected from the global Black Diaspora, event organizers Amplify Africa and the Africa Channel made sure they wouldn’t leave feeling the same way.
From panels, pitch competition, a gala, a music festival, and other events AFRICON was the place to be. It all kicked off on Wednesday May 25th at the invite-only Africa Day celebration at E-Central Hotel headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles. Director and producer Kweku Mandela hosted the event alongside Prince Joel Makonnen Haile Selassie, a descendant of the last Emperor of Ethiopia.
Thursday May 26th was an eventful day opened up with networking, a marketplace and exhibition, an entertainment professionals mixer, and more. A key event was “Bridging the Unspoken Gaps: Within the Diaspora and to the Continent,” which included speakers like musician Jidenna, actor and CEO Nate Parker, Afrochella Festival Abdul Abdullah, plus broadcaster and radio host Julie Adenuga. Other events included “Black Media: Controlling Our Own Narrative,” “Civil Rights and Advocacy in the Black Diaspora,” and “The Growing Business of Media/Entertainment in Africa.”
During the day, panels on Friday May 27th included “Leveraging the Power of Social Media,” “Starting and Building a Career in Tech,” “Deconstructing the Standard of Beauty,” “Investing in Africa’s Future,” and “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay: Mental Health Matters.” By the time evening fell, there were plenty of places to go. Not only attendees were getting ready for a fun Afrovibes rooftop party at the W Hollywood hotel, hosted by Afrochella and PVO. They had to get done up for the AfroBall, a dazzling annual event honoring the best and the brightest. Organizers looked to raise at least $500,000 to support the thousands of Goma inhabitants, who were in the DR Congo city when Mount Nyiragongo erupted after nearly 20 years. The event was the perfect way to eat, network, and celebrate the diaspora for a purpose.
Saturday, the final day of AFRICON, was anything but sad. If anything, it may have been the most joyous day. Attendees were able to reflect on three full days of events, meeting new people, and even supporting entrepreneurs. After all of that, there was even more planned! From 1-8pm was the Afro Music Festival at Baldwin Hills Mall, and then the Afrolituation x RNB Houseparty that ran at the Vermont in Hollywood all night!
To learn more, follow Amplify Africa on Instagram. Be sure to keep a lookout for AFRICON 2023 next year!