Charlotte hosts Durag Fest as alternative Juneteenth celebration

- A Charlotte-based event known as Durag Fest has gone viral since it was first premiered at historic Camp North End on Friday. 

Collaborators Dammit Wesley, DJ Fannie Mae, Lica Michelle, and Joseph Headen first came up with the idea as an alternative to the traditional celebrations for Juneteenth, a day to remember when equality was mandated for slaves still in the South following the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19, and the first formal celebrations were introduced in 1865.  

Durag Fest was meant to be a "catalyst to provoke conversations about Creative Freedom in the African American Community," according to brand manager Lica Mishelle.  

The event collaborators say the durag itself is a metaphor for blackness, "misunderstood and undervalued."

The Durag Fest served to overcome those sentiments, by creating an open and comfortable space for Charlotte's black community to come together.

The festival consisted of a Durag Gallery show, with work from 28 Carolina artists at BLK MRKT CLT featured. There was a Durag Runway Show consisting of four designers and more than 30 models, and also live music from local artists.

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