‘Taste of Africa’ brings traditional African culture to Killeen for fifth year
The event celebrates African culture through music, food and dance as well as art and jewelry
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A sample of African culture could be experienced today in Killeen as the Taste of Africa event held their fifth annual celebration while also raising funds to benefit youth in the area.
Traditional African garments, art and cuisine are just some of the things that were present at the fifth annual Taste of Africa event Sunday in Killeen
The event aims to celebrate African culture while also bringing awareness to the history of the continent.
“My heart is always happy when I come in and I hear the drums, I see the kids running around, I smell the food, I drink the Ethiopian coffee that keeps me up for 4 or 5 days straight,” said Rodney Duckett, founder of Impac Outreach and organizer for Taste of Africa.
The event kicked off with a moment of silence for the ancestors that came before but quickly turned to a jubilant celebration of life with sounds of the djembe filling the room.
Many people in attendance who were originally from Africa before migrating to America said the event was a way for them to reconnect with something they love and don’t get to experience much of outside of their household.
“We look for opportunities to do that because we’ve been away from home for so long. We miss that part of our life, that cultural and celebrative portion,” said Joell Carter who is originally from Liberia. He and his wife Zoe had a booth at the event today.
Impac Outreach, a local nonprofit, organizes the yearly event with help from the city of Killeen.
All portions of tickets sold for the event go towards a transitional center, being built by Impac Outreach.
While the center hasn’t been completed yet, it will soon be a hub for youth experiencing juvenile hardships to go and learn skills that they can benefit from as they grow older.
“We teach them goal setting, career coaching and planning, employment coaching and planning. We also teach them tangible tools they can use once they’re out,” said Duckett.
Duckett says little things like having a suit for an interview or a mentor to guide you can make all the difference for youth experiencing hardships.
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