Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa are making a diasporic connection to West Africa. Inspired by Marcus Garvey‘s short-lived shipping company Black Star Line, the have announced Black Star Line Festival which will be held in Accra, Ghana on January 6, 2023.
“Founded in 1919, and operated by Black people, the [Black Star Line] would link America, the Caribbean and Africa, to global shipping and tourism opportunities,” the press release reads. The Black Star Line was a symbol of pride, not only for Africans, but also for Black people in all ports of call. After nearly 40 years, the Ghanian government launched their fleet with the same name, in homage to Garvey, and even added a black star to the country’s new flag.”
“Everything we’re doing is with the goal of uniting and building a bridge between black people of the diaspora and the globe, with the continent,” Mensa added in a statement. “And Ghana is the gateway to all of that.”
Although a lineup for the festival has not been revealed, the native Chicago rappers announced the festival at Free The Youth’s flagship location in Ghana last week, where they were visiting with eight students from Chicago.
“When Vic and I started our careers and started touring, we did shows all over the US. Eventually we started touring in Europe, we did shows in Asia, South America, Central America, but we never had a chance to play our music for the people who support us the most,” Chance said during the event.
“When we came here and touched down and felt the love that we received and the fans that we got to connect with, the understanding for the need for the connection became apparent to us. We need a music festival bringing major artists to Ghana. This is what we’re working to create.”
In an interview with OkayAfrica, Vic Mensa talked about bridging the gap between Black Americans and Africans on the continent:
“I recognize that with privilege comes responsibility and also [an] opportunity… And so I am taking that on to help break down those misunderstandings between Black people on and off the [African] continent.”
Chance is currently prepping his sophomore album, with support from Gabonese visual artist Naïla Opiangah, Chicago painter Nikko Washington along with Moses Sumney and Joey Bada$$.
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