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Enterprising social entrepreneurs

MSBQ Staff

Memphis community leaders, David and Yvonne B. Acey, have dedicated their lives to educating, serving and helping others learn about African history.

David and Yvonne B. Acey founded the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, Inc. in 1986.  

“We started meeting at LeMoyne-Owen College to get organized," said David Acey, executive director.

During the infancy stages, they reached out to the City of Memphis for assistance.  The festival’s first venue was Court Square on Main Street.  Although the attendance was very low, this was the 'seed' that has blossomed into celebrating 30+ years of African culture and history.

"We reached out to former Mayor Richard C. Hackett about our concept and recommended city hall as a place to showcase various cultures on a monthly basis," said David Acey.

Photo Credit: Paula Anderson

Yvonne B. Acey, co-director said, “The Arts” embraces a universal message with memories that touch and engage the entire community educationally, physically, aesthetically, culturally and developmentally regardless of the class, gender or ethnicity. 

Ebony magazine recognized the festival in April 2018, which coincided with the 50th anniversary Dr. Martin Luther King's Jr. assassination in Memphis.

AIA has been recognized as one of the fastest growing festivals internationally, stated Yvonne B. Acey.

Although this year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19, the cultural awareness festival supports economic development in Memphis, Tennessee. 

To learn more about Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, Inc. visit

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