Organizers kicked off the 23rd annual Kuumba Festival Thursday in downtown Knoxville.
Singers, dancers, drummers, even some guys on stilts started the celebration at the East Tennessee History Center.
It's part of a four day event that honors the African American Appalachian Arts.
Organizers say this is a special event to express their culture in a positive way.
"Everyone from this country comes from somewhere. African Americans are here through slavery. So we want to reconnect what we didn't get a chance to evolve through naturally and do it in a positive fashion. The more you understand yourself, the better you understand others," says Nkechi Ajanaku, Executive Director.
The festival continues throughout the weekend.
Tomorrow there will be a youth arts extravaganza followed by a parade in downtown Knoxville at 6.
On Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy the festival with crafts, clothing, and food in Chilhowee Park.