Why Melanin in May Festival?


The final Spring Black Business Bazaar was the first time we did the art exhibit and food truck battle royale. Thankfully we had amazing artists that were either then or definitely now, household names. Folks like Matthew Cooper, Rae Parker, Ronald A Craig Jr, Dom Zilla, Boxx Box, Quiana Quarles, Deonna Craig, Jamichael Kyng Pollard, Torii LeChelle, Stewart Wayne Billings and Starboy Xio. We handed out trophies to amazing black culinary geniuses both among the food trucks as well as those indoors. The inaugural winners being Off the Hook Fish and More and Ms Murrays Naturals. We even had judges in Oya, Candace, Energy and Ro. That was in 2019 (http://naptowndontsleep.org/b3).

COVID put a pause on us doing it again, but Blacktoberfest stirred up something that made it feel like that same energy can be improved upon. Expanded. Otherwise, why do it? So the goal? At least four times a year. Black Owned Business Block Party. Blacktoberfest. Black Business Bazaar, and now (God willing), Melanin in May Festival. With opportunities for education, empowerment, and engagement during and in between each one. Intentionally partnering with community centers and organizations on the west side, north side, near and far eastsides of Indianapolis. Hoping eventually we can bring back Liberation Weekend with The Wake and the Liberation address. More collaborations, more opportunities. More unapologetic spaces for Black people to celebrate themselves and others.

It’s what I’ve missed, and frankly I forgot how healing it is. Creative ways to create Community. It’s exciting and it’s edifying. And I can’t wait to see how Indy will show out yet again come May 28.” – Dominic Dorsey