Chicago's Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa are gearing up to host their inaugural Black Star Line Festival in Accra, Ghana on January 6, 2023. The star-studded event will not only bring popular global talent to the Mother Continent, but the rappers will also give back to Ghana in a major way with a series of educational talks and art-based events.
"Black Americans have become detached from the Mother Continent, not just physically but also mentally, as shown throughout history."Vic Mensa
The week leading up to the free concert will include: a talk by comedian Dave Chappelle at The University of Ghana East, a talk and skate show with skateboarder Dashawn Jordan at Surf Ghana Skate Park—which was designed and funded by the late Virgil Abloh—as well as a Pan-African summit hosted by Revolt Media to discuss the history of Black revolution. The name of the festival, as well as the venue—Black Star Square—drew inspiration from Marcus Garvey's Black Star Line shipping company. The historic company operated between Black countries in the early 1900s in efforts to build economic stability and connection for Black people around the world. It is also the site in which Ghana announced its independence from colonial British rule.
EBONY chatted with Vic Mensa in October, just after the announcement of the Black Star Line Festival was made. The entertainer shared that for him, this event is about more than just putting on a concert on Ghanian soil—his father's homeland—but it is about making that reconnection between Black folks from the diaspora and those on the Mother Continent.
"Black Americans have become detached from the Mother Continent, not just physically but also mentally, as shown throughout history," Mensa told EBONY. "But, it’s time to accept who we are as African people. The idea for the festival came after I sat back and looked at how we as Black American artists have performed ten-times over in places like Europe before we ever make it to do a show in Africa. It’s the same with travel as well. I’m starting this fest so that we can not only perform for our African fans, but it is also my vision to immerse the artists in Ghanaian cultural experiences while they are here."
The one-day-only concert will feature performances by EBONY Power 100 performer and June 2021 cover star Tobe Nwigwe, Erykah Badu, T-Pain and more. Chance the Rapper and Mensa will also take the stage during the event. To ensure more Americans are able to reach the country, the two teamed up with United Airlines for a limited-time 10% off discount on airfare to Accra.