What’s billed as the largest African-American event in Iowa history opens tonight (Friday) in Des Moines. Betty Andrews is chief organizer of “I’ll Make Me A World In Iowa.” Andrews says the gala dinner is called “Living a Legacy” and will include an address from a famous black actor.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner may be best known for having played the role of Bill Cosby’s son, Theo, on “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s and he’s gone on to do more acting and producing and was most recently on “Listen Up” on ABC. Andrews says other speakers will include an Iowa City woman, Dr. Venise Berry. Berry is a national best-selling author and Andrews says the message they’d like to send with her is that African-Americans in Iowa are doing great things nationally.
Andrews says this cultural event has grown exponentially every year in Iowa’s capitol city. She says “I’ll Make Me a World” only expected about 300 people its first year, which was eight years ago, but ended up getting about a thousand. Andrews says more people are attracted each year with more than ten-thousand expected this year.
While tonight’s (Friday) gala requires a ticket, Saturday’s events at the Polk County Convention Complex are free and include live music and other entertainment on three stages, a variety of soul food and health screenings. For more information, call (515) 288-7171 or surf to “www.worldiniowa.org”.