The final day of Many Rivers to Cross festival featured a slew of activists, actors, and musicians who shared their ideas on how to create social change. The second day of the festival began with performances by Common, Aloe Blacc, Sounds of Blackness, and Goapele. There was a panel discussion on stopping voter suppression with festival curator Harry Belafonte and actor Jesse Williams.
As the sun set at the Bouckaert Farm in Fairburn, Georgia, actors such as Danny Gover, Hill Harper, Chris Tucker all spoke on the need for change. Rosario Dawson also shed light on the importance of social of standing strong in the face of adversity before introducing Maxwell. Maxwell performed his hit “Woman’s Work” while a tribute to strong Black women such as Harriet Tubman and Angela Davis was displayed on the big screens that surrounded the stage.
Common returned to the stage with John Legend as they sung their Oscar-winning hit, “Glory.” Belafonte also returned to reveal his story of being a leader in Civil Rights and the importance of the next generation to carry the flag. However, he was less than optimistic about overall change as shared how mass incarceration and police brutality continues to be a major issue in America.
“All that’s been said about the great progress that America is making does not articulate the price we’ve paid for that perceived progress,” Belafonte said. “Sadly, the enemy does not sleep.”
Photos: Jamie Thompson