Though I had never heard of the annual Stone Soul Picnic until Saturday afternoon when en route to the National Pow Wow at the Verizon Center that I happened upon a neighbor and his daughter waiting on the platform at the Waterfront - SEU WMATA Station in SW WDC for the next Greenbelt Green Line train.
When he inquired if I was heading to the Stone Soul Picnic replying that I had never heard of it I said that I was en route to the National Pow Wow at the Verizon Center. Surprised that I had not heard of the Stone Soul Picnic he explained that it was founded by Cathy Hughes of Radio One and that it was celebrating its 17th year.
I explained that having photographed two recent events associated with the Smithsonian National Museum of the Native American the National Pow Wow would be included in my ongoing Native American Heritage Collection. Reflecting on the experiences that I have had, in the past, when visiting or photographing at the National Museum of the Native American I said that had I known of the Stone Soul Picnic event I certainly would have made plans to attend it rather than the Pow Wow since, in the past, my experiences at the National Museum of the American Indian dating back to its September 2004 grand opening, as well as other scenarios when dealing with organizations or groups of Native Americans had often been marked by forms of outright racism directed towards me.
Which always brings to surface reflections my great grandmother, Violet Emma Dove Biscoe. who of Native American descent was married a Negro man, Thomas Walter Biscoe.
After photographing and videotaping the 2007 National Pow Wow for more than an hour I decided that the 17th Annual Stone Soul Picnic was exactly the kind of Afro-American event that I would be an important addiction to my ongoing Afro-American Heritage Collection.
While WDC may have celebrated its 17th Annual Stone Soul Picnic last weekend the Stone Soul Picnic Concert Series, founded by Cathy Hughes in 1991, is an important annual summer event in, I believe, nine other 'markets' associated with Radio One. Which Cathy Hughes refers to as "Family Members".
Other cities which host annual Stone Soul Picnics are Omaha Nebraska and Baltimore Maryland. In fact, Baltimore's 16th Annual Stone Soul Picnic will be held next weekend on Saturday, 18 August 2007 at Druid Park.
Click the above photo to view my 2007 Stone Soul Picnic at the RFK Grounds photoset. Here are video clips #1 and #2 of Kelly Rowland whioch were difficult to shoot with such a large crowd.
Depending on my schedule next weekend, I may take an overdue trip to Baltimore and capture Baltimore's 16th Annual Stone Soul Picnic at Druid Park.