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Austin Native Jonathan Sprinkles to speak at Essence Music Fest

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The annual Essence Music Festival is known as “the party with a purpose.” It’s an event primarily sponsored by Essence Magazine, a publication aimed toward African-American women. Celebrating the festival’s 20th anniversary in New Orleans on Jul. 3 to 6, the festival’s speaker line-up this year includes Austinite Jonathan Sprinkles.

Moustapha Bangoura

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Guinean Moustapha Bangoura trained for 22 years with Les Ballets Africains, the world’s first African dance company and the national dance ensemble of Guinea. He teaches more than 60 traditional dances and is an official cultural ambassador for his country.

Riders Against the Storm

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“Mission Accomplished,” was how Chaka felt when Riders Against the Storm (RAS) won the prestigious Band of the Year award at this year’s SXSW Music Festival. To have Hip Hop appreciated and validated by a bona fide music-loving community was exactly the purpose of RAS’ move to Austin in 2009.

Cracking the Code: Toni Tipton Martin

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Toni Tipton Martin uncovered a truth as a cub food reporter for the LOS ANGELES TIMES. After years of research, she can now authoritatively state with the force of a thousand voices from the past behind her: “African American women are competent, proficient and innovative in the field of cooking, and they have ownership of many recipes and techniques beyond a few soul food recipes of the 1960s.”