May 24, 2024


The art of Fashion

Harlem Festival of Culture Launches First Major Juneteenth Event

6 min read

As section of Juneteenth celebrations, the Harlem Competition of Culture (HFC) — the contemporary-day reimagining of the groundbreaking Harlem Cultural Competition of 1969 — hosted its first key event with the 1st Once-a-year Black Independence Awards presented by Uber on Saturday, June 18th at Harlem Parish. Committed to showcasing the vibrancy and creative energy of today’s Harlem, HFC developed the Awards to identify the best of Harlem as a result of the remarkable leaders, business people, artists, and creators whose contributions have established to be cultural, social, and economic drivers for the Harlem local community.

Hosted by hip-hop icon and Harlem native Doug E. Fresh, the Black Independence Awards inaugural class of honorees includes Exclusive Awards recipients: Television set identity, creator, and actress Bevy Smith (The Vanguard Award) famous manner designer Dapper Dan (The Icon Award) and Renowned Restaurateur and Founder of Melba’s Cafe Melba Wilson (The Winner Award). Presenters included: Resourceful and entrepreneur CJ South and Ms. Smith’s niece Domonique Smith — Long presenting to Bevy Smith Harlem Trend Row Founder and CEO Brandice Daniel presenting to Dapper Dan Doug E. Refreshing presenting to Melba Wilson. The night also held a distinctive surprise for the show’s host Doug E. Contemporary who was bestowed with the Legacy Management Award introduced to him by HFC Co-Founder and Specialized & Expertise Producer Yvonne McNair.


In addition to the Exclusive Awards honorees, winners were chosen across 5 more types by the Harlem neighborhood as a result of a voting method carried out on HFC’s web site. Winners of the Black Independence Awards 2022 by group had been:

Social Effects Award: Carmen Neely
Cultural Heritage Award: Harlem Haberdashery
Maverick Award: Harlem Manner Week
Visionary Award: Sekou Luke
Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Make My Cake


The Black carpet party started with a cocktail pre-reception followed by an exquisite sit down evening meal catered by Melba’s Restaurant and the awards presentation. The evening showcased a number of buzzworthy times and highlights which includes famous R&B Team Brownstone wowing the viewers with a rousing rendition of traditional hits like “Grapvyne” and “If You Like Me.” Added attendees integrated: Estelle, Ro James, Ty Hunter and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. Harlem Festival Of Society Juneteenth


Speaking on the prestigious celebration, HFC Co-Founder and Group Liason Officer, Musa Jackson mentioned: “The inaugural Again Independence Awards was an epic celebration of the persons, the creatives, and the firms who proceed to hold Harlem vivid and alive with their contributions and achievements. We desired to understand the individuals who are the very heartbeat of our local community and glow a light on them these passionate and inspirational individuals who are invaluable to our hamlet of Harlem.” 

“One of the core tenants of the Harlem Festival of Tradition is to be supportive of the neighborhood enterprises and creators that comprise Harlem’s ecosystem by our platform and our perform,” reported HFC Co-Founder and Method & Small business Development Officer, Nikoa Evans. “We are at the commencing of this journey and as we go on to develop the brand name, it is critical that we keep on to foster and establish with our companies and the stakeholders in our local community.”

“The Black Independence Awards marks the to start with main occasion below the HFC umbrella and I am so incredibly proud of the night we put alongside one another. It was a joyful celebration of Black excellence, innovation and resiliency appropriately held through a weekend when the nation commemorated Juneteenth,” reported McNair. “In envisioning this Awards, we preferred to produce an opportunity to not only honor all those whose work has had actual effect on the Harlem local community but to build an elevated knowledge for persons who are not constantly recognized and to permit them know that we see them. This is for them. And as we direct up to the big competition next calendar year, we want to use function opportunities like the Black Independence Awards to regularly enhance that concept.”

The Black Independence Awards is component of the Harlem Competition of Society, which is now in its first calendar year. HFC’s very first yearly celebration will consist of a sequence of stay leisure event encounters and social and economic advancement programming, culminating with a multiday outside songs competition to be held in Summer time, 2023 in homage to the original celebration.


Distinctive AWARDS

Winner Award: Awarded to a particular person or business that has been a winner in making sure higher diversity, inclusivity and equitable economic alternatives in their marketplace.
Honoree: Melba Wilson – Renowned Restaurateur and Founder of Melba’s Restaurant

Icon Award: Awarded to a particular person or firm whose contributions have designed a notable impact on the environment.
Honoree: Dapper Dan – Famous Fashion Designer

Vanguard Award: Awarded to a human being or firm whose leadership and innovation has helped form the long term of their marketplace.
Honoree: Bevy Smith – Tv individuality, creator, and actress

AWARDS BY Classification

Social Influence Award: Awarded to a man or woman, group or organization who has advocated to ensure fairness, wellbeing, entry, and excellent of lifetime for the Harlem community.
Syderia Asberry-Chresfield – Greater Harlem Coalition, Quality of Lifetime Advocacy, Social Justice
Carmen Neely – Harlem Delight, LGBTQ
Silicon Harlem – Technological know-how Access for Harlem
Valerie Jo Bradley – Marcus Garvey Park Alliance
Billy Council – Group Activist, Normal Manager, Cove Lounge

Cultural Heritage Award: Awarded to a particular person, team or enterprise whose contributions offer a system to protect and/or elevate black lifestyle and its affect on lifestyle/arts, new music, film, style and design, or commerce.
Ty Jones – Classical Theatre of Harlem, Uptown Shakespeare Pageant
Neal Shoemaker – Harlem Heritage Tours
Vy Higginsen,- Mama Basis for the Arts, Sing Harlem
Shay and Male Woods – Harlem Haberdashery
Sister’s Uptown Bookstore

Maverick Award: Awarded to a human being, team or company that has “disrupted” their market or the marketplace by developing a new house for commerce and representation for the Black community.

Karl Franz Williams – Mixologist Proprietor, 67 Orange Street Uncle Waithley’s Vincy Brew
Harlem Tech Fund
Milton Washington – Cannibas Speakeasy, Rokmill Health and fitness
Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell – Harlem Fashion 7 days


Visionary Award: Awarded to a Black artistic who has celebrated and/or elevated the Black cultural knowledge as a result of new music, artwork, pictures, movie, literature or structure.

Sekou Luke – Producer, Filmmaker, Photographer
Dianne Smith – Visual Artist
J’Nai Bridges – Grammy Award-profitable mezzo-soprano
Flo N’Gala – Image Journalist, Portrait Photographer
Rakiem Walker – The Rakiem Walker Undertaking
27 Delly – Music Artist, Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Awarded to a particular person, group or business that exemplifies excellence and innovation in entrepreneurship.
NiLu Gift Retail outlet
Harlem Cycle
Make My Cake, I Like It Black, Ma Smith’s Dessert Cafe
Lambda Lounge
Charles Pan Fried Hen

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About The Harlem Pageant of Society

Harlem Festival of Society is the celebration of Black lifestyle as a result of cultural & economic development programming sent at the nexus of are living music and leisure, a vivid cultural destination, and impressive social impact. Harlem Pageant Of Tradition Juneteenth

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