The Harambee Cultural Arts Festival is an annual family-friendly cultural event held in the Arlington-West End neighborhood at the corner of Cotton Avenue and Lomb Avenue. "Harambee", which is the official motto of Kenya, is Swahili for "pulling together". The festival features African dancers as well as local gospel and R&B groups, poetry readings, arts and crafts stalls and food vendors.
The 2005 festival, on September 24, was sponsored by Princeton Baptist Medical Center and presented by Off the Chain Management, the Arlington-West End neighborhood association and Ree-Al and DJ Serious. A kid's play area with clowns, face painting and a moonwalk was available. Spider-man and South Models joined several local radio personalities for special appearances. AIDS Alabama, the Chris McNair Health Center and other groups provided health information and screenings. Joseph Rucker of the Birmingham Police Department joined Theresa Hill as speakers against violence. Voter registration and prize drawings were held.
Entertainers included Gator Boyz (Gulfport), New School Jazz Ensemble, Sparkle Dance Company, John Paul and Ms Brown (poets), Stylistics (dance), All Praises to GOD, Al & Pashion Lewis, Nathifa Dance Company, Brian Thomas (comedy), Landmark 205, Bama Gee, All Things Through Christ, New Pilgrim Baptist Church dancers, Gutta (Jakala Entertainment), Pledger (Raw Deal Records, Atlanta), Young Fitz (360 Block Records), Renethia's Dance, The Big 6 (Breakin Bread Records), Glenwood, Bliss, GOD Anointed Praise Dancers and Clean House.
The first Harambee Festival was held in 2003.