This fall, the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference will be in Lafayette, offering notable speakers, cultural tours and fascinating presentations.
The conference is scheduled for Oct. 9-12, 2013, and will offer thought-provoking conversations and first-hand experiences of how to preserve, promote and protect sites that are important to the global narrative of people and culture of African descent.
Featured presentations are:
“Africans in Louisiana” by Dr. Ibrahima Seck
“The Creole Journey to the Promised Land” by Charles Larroque, Dr. Ray Brassieur and Dr. Jihad Muhammad
“Roots to Routes: Creating the Creole Homeland with Music and Dance” by Nick Spitzer from National Public Radio
Haitian Mission Project: “International Day for People of African Descent for Recognition, Justice and Development” by Ambassador Savadogo (presentation in French and English)
Breakout sessions include:
“Cultural Tourism and Entrepreneurship” with Minister Percy Paris, Wayn Hamilton and Georgina Dhillon, moderator Charles Larroque
“Development of Local Heritage Trails” with Dr. Kim Dismont Robinson of the ADHT Board of Directors
“Long Road to Freedom: Civil Rights in Louisiana and Beyond” with Keith Weldon Medley, Kathe Hambrick-Jackson and Melba Danzie Braud, moderator Ted Maris
“The Creole French Languages and Challenges to Its Viability” with French Creole-speaking citizens, moderator Dr. Ray Brassieur
“The Role of African American Museums and Repositories: The Resurgence and Responsibility of Institutions Chronicling the Lives, Including Migration Patterns of Africans in the Diaspora” with Dr. Carol Adams, Masequa Myers and Gail Adams, moderator Dr. Sharon Telleen
“Slaves and Sugar: Transatlantic exchange in Louisiana, the Caribbean and Africa” with Dr. Ibrahima Seck, Jean-Marc Masseaut and Dr. Barry Jean Ancelet, moderator Dr. Jordan Kellman
In addition, the ADHT Conference gives attendees a chance to experience the Creole culture of South Louisiana first-hand. The opening ceremonies will be held at Vermilionville, a folk life museum featuring the life of the Cajuns and Creoles between 1765 and 1890. The 23-acre park on the Vermilion River features 18 structures in a living history museum setting. A Creole dinner will be served while Grammy Award-winning zydeco musician Chubby Carrier performs for the group. There will also be presentations on "The Healer's Garden" by Creole folklorist Rebecca Henry and Creole Mardi Gras traditions with Avoyelles Indians of Southwest Louisiana.
The ADHT Conference will close with one of Louisiana's biggest celebrations of the Cajun and Creole cultures of South Louisiana — Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. Since 1977, Festivals Acadiens et Creoles has been preserving the Cajun and Creole heritages of Louisiana through presentation of the music, food, crafts and traditions at this annual fall festival. This year, the festival is honoring the Cajun and Creole Cowboys, who have a longstanding horse culture originating in 1765. This year's festival is also dedicated to one of our most prominent cowboy musicians, Boozoo Chavis, who helped to define zydeco as it was emerging in the 1950s.