DC’s Annual Black Love Experience Is Back. Here’s What To Expect This Year
By Parker Diakite
Celebrating Black history and love is what sparked Anika Hobbs, founder of Nubian Hueman, to launch the Black Love Experience in 2014.
More than 100 people attended the inaugural event which aims to connect Black excellence and love through expressions of music, art, wellness, and creative commerce, but most of all its good vibes and togetherness.
Attendance has more than doubled since it began. Now in its seventh year, organizers are expecting more than 3,000 people this year.
“It’s kind of shocking,” Anika told Travel Noire in an interview. “It’s always shocking when you create something that people naturally gravitate to and that people understand it from the core rather than just like, ‘aww that’s a cute little event.’”
The Black Love Experience, which takes place on March 21, has a theme of “Vote Black Love 2020” in honor of the Presidential election cycle.
In an interview with Travel Noire, Anika revealed what else to expect this year:
Travel Noire: What sparked the Black Love Experience?
ANIKA: I opened Nubian Hueman in 2013, and then decided to create the Black Love Experience in 2014. My biggest thing was that I just wanted to have a way to draw people to our retail business.
We had this a small event inside the building because we’re inside the Anacostia Art Center. I just wanted to have something that celebrated Black history and love. Not romantic Valentine’s Day love but self-love.
View this post on Instagram
What is #VoteBlackLove2020? It’s Black Excellence at its finest and LOVE on another level. BLACK #music BLACK #art BLACK #vendors BLACK #artist Get your tix before they go!💨 DISCOUNT CODES expire in TWO days!!! Ticket prices goes UP after March 1st. Check previous postings for more discount codes. DATE: March 21st @ 7pm LOCATION: THEARC in DC TIX & INFO: blackloveexperience.com (link in bio) In Partnership with Building Bridges Across the River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #blacklove #love #business #blackbusiness #blackhistory #blackhistorymonth #dc #acreativedc #election2020 #fashion #vibe #mood #buyblack #blacklivesmatter #style #kings #queen #blackexcellence #blackgirlmagic #blackboyjoy #buyblackowned #dmv #dcevents #blackfashion #artistsoninstagram
Travel Noire: What exactly do people can people expect from the Black Love Experience this year?
ANIKA: We have the main stage this year that will include live music. We have over 60 vendors. We have a food park that will feature all black food vendors. There will be three bars this year, and they’re all black brands from the whiskey, the gin, the rum, and wine.
Then, of course, there are panel discussions, including workshops that will focus on energy and how we can kind of take that energy and embrace each other better as people of color.
We have another stage called Couches thanks to Dopeciety. They started an event that incorporates really chill acoustic sounds.
We just want to show each other in various types of light. And let me add that everybody that does any type of work, including lighting, sound, and piping are all Black-owned companies.
Travel Noire: Why do you think this event is important for our community?
ANIKA: I think it’s important because anytime we can have spaces that were allowed to be unapologetically ourselves is necessary for us. Especially living in DC where my customers and the attendees work in government and they’re not always able to be their true self. Attending the Black Love Experience allows you to be appreciated for who we are.
I’m not originally from DC and I came to DC for “Chocolate City.” Once I realized the onset and the impact of gentrification in DC, it really felt like for me, I was just doing whatever I could to kind of still get that Chocolate City. That’s what the Black Love Experience is about and people tell me all the time, especially those that are from the DC area. They tell me this event is needed because it’s a different DC.