NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Photographs documenting the 70-year history of the Kemet Jubilee will be on display Sept. 26-Oct. 6 at Vanderbilt University’s Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. The organization’s general chairman, Clyde Venson, will kick off the exhibit with a lecture on the parade’s history at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26. Following Venson’s speech, there will be a reception at 5:30 p.m. at the Black Cultural Center. The event is free and open to the public.
The celebration, first known as the Memphis Cotton Makers’ Fiesta and then Cotton Makers’ Jubilee, was founded in 1935 by a group of Memphis business and professional African Americans who wanted to counter the white Memphis establishment’s Cotton Carnival Parade. The first parade is credited with helping launch Beale Street as the world famous Home of the Blues, and W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues, served as the first parade’s grand marshal. Today Kemet Jubilee, whose mission is to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans and to address the needs of the black community, has expanded its celebration to Nashville and Detroit.
Media contact: Emily Pearce, (615) 322-NEWS