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FunTimes Magazine

Your Turn To Have Fun!

Jun 27, 2024 11:00AM ● By FunTimes Staff
Photo courtesy of Ensemble Arts Philly

FunTimes Magazine
’s Culture + Entertainment column, the week of June 24, 2024

A lot of parents pack up their troubles and send them off to summer camp.

-- Raymond Duncan, (1874 – 1966), American poet-philosopher

It feels like June just got here. Now it’s time for a June finale filled with fireworks, holiday concerts, American hoagies, and home-style food from the Diaspora -- all setting the stage for sizzling summer fun. So, let’s get right to it with these low-or-no-cost entertaining, educational, and cultural activities.


Film Forum Honors Pearl Bowser

Friday, June 28, 2024. Film buffs, mark their calendars for the Producers' Forum: A Tribute to Pearl Bowser. Check out the 55-minute film, Namibia: Independence Now! directed by Pearl Bowser and Chris Choy (Namibia/United States, 1985), and the short film (27 minutes) The Archivist - A Conversation with Pearl Bowser directed by Louis Massiah, edited by Nobu Massiah, with music by Dan Papa and Charles Raboteau (2024). Bowser, who died in 2023, is known as the “Godmother of Black Independent Cinema.” The New Yorker was a filmmaker, film exhibitor, archivist, and scholar, screening and promoting films about the African Diaspora. She re-introduced the work of Oscar Micheaux (1884 -1951), the first Black independent filmmaker, and was a great scholar of Black cinema history. Bowser was the director of Third World Newsreel, board chair of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, and founder of African Diaspora Images, an oral and visual history project. Namibia: Independence Now! chronicles the refugee settlements in Zambia and Angola. It tells the story of how exiled Namibians emancipated their country from illegal South African exploitation setting the stage for independence. According to promotional material: “It shows many aspects of their daily life in exile, especially the women, who were at the forefront of the independence struggle. It focuses on the activities of exiled Namibian independence leader General Toivo ya Toivo, filmed just weeks after his negotiated release from a South African prison.” $7.50 & $5 (for students and seniors); 7 p.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST. Scribe Video Center, 3908 Lancaster Ave. E-mail: [email protected], 215-222-4201 or

Read more about the history of Namibia:

Namibian Resistance From German and South African Colonization to Independence

Namibian Resistance: From German and South African Colonization to Independence

Happy Independence Day, Namibia! Join us in commemorating the resilience of Namibians by exploring their tumultuous journey to independence. Learn more here: Read More » 


Wawa Hoagie Day at the National Constitution Center

Break bread at Hoagie Day

Thursday, June 27, 2024. Hoagies, hero sandwiches, or whatever you call them…they’re free. Yes, Wawa Hoagie Day is back to please the palate with a Philly favorite. The event will honor local heroes while serving 25,000 free Wawa Shorti Hoagies. The total ingredients stuffed in those delicious delights are said to be more than 7 tons of luncheon meat. Never have so many hoagies been seen, or eaten (let’s check the Guinness Book of  World Records), all in one tasty place. Check out Voices of Service, a singing quartet of military veterans, and go to the National Constitution Center all day free, from 10 a.m. EST to 5 p.m. EST. So, grab a hoagie and some history along Independence Mall, home to many museums and sites dedicated to the heritage of the United States. Hoagie giveaway free, noon, on the Independence Mall lawn, Arch Street, between 5th and 6th streets. or

Read also:

11 Incredible Guinness World Records Held by Black People

11 Incredible Guinness World Records Held by Black People

It’s frequently claimed that records are set only to be surpassed and replaced with better ones. Read More » 


Photo courtesy of Wawa Welcome America

Gamble-Huff-Bell Tribute Ends In The Fireworks Show

Friday, June 28, 2024. Get all fired up for everything Philly at the Black Music Month 45th Anniversary Celebration & Fireworks. It will be a great way to close out National Black Music Month, Philadelphia style. Hosted by Radio personalities Dyana Williams and Laiya St. Clair, the event will feature the sounds of Philadelphia and a tribute to music moguls Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell – architects of the signature Philadelphia soul sound in the 1970s and 1980s. Chill to live music by Lady Alma, Princess Idia, Suzanne Christine, Omar Wilson, and Russell Thompkins, Jr. of the New Stylistics. Early-birds can enjoy pre-event activities and street fare from food trucks, and free snacks outside of the Dell Music Center. The event is part of the 16-day Wawa Welcome America festival. Free, 5 p.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST. The Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Dr. or


Feel The Rhythm Of Juneteenth

Saturday, June 29, 2024. Rhythms of Liberation from Juneteenth to Beyond! is a perfect finale to observe Black Music Month. Enjoy DJ music, live entertainment, karaoke, authentic items from vendors, food, and beverages from the JellyKisses Lounge, and the music of RnB & Neo Soul by DJ Roc Da Spot. It’s billed as a throwback party; so dust off your Guess jeans and dress to impress in your best 90s or early 2000s threads. Hosted by the African American Museum in Philadelphia, with support from WURD and other partners. A glass of free wine courtesy of City Winery. Event admission is free, from 4 p.m. EST to 8 p.m. EST. African American Museum in Philadelphia/ Plaza, 701 Arch St.  215-574-0380 or

Party hardy on the Avenue of the Arts 

Saturday, June 29, 2024. The Wawa Welcome America festival is in full swing on the Avenue of the Arts in Center City Philadelphia, with a block party, entertainment, art, food, and more. To stay nice and cool, go indoors and vibe to the music at the Kimmel Center featuring Omar’s Hat and a line dance demonstration with The Parkside Experience, DJ Chris Blues, and W.D.O.H. If Broadway is more of your style, catch a performance by Les Misérables cast member Emily Bautista and Hamiltunes, the official Hamilton sing-along. The Philadelphia Orchestra will roll out the red-white-and-blue musical carpet to perform a 247th birthday salute to America. Conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead the Orchestra with patriotic songs like “The Stars and Stripes Forever '' March and “Liberty Bell '' March, selections from John Williams’s scores for The Patriot and Lincoln, honoring military service members in the United States. Noon, free but tickets are required to see the Orchestra concert. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis and begins 45 minutes before the performance. Daylong activities inside the Kimmel Center (Commonwealth Plaza/ PNC Arts Live Stage) are free, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST; the Orchestra concert at noon is in Kimmel’s Marian Anderson Hall. Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., 215-893-1999 or

Le Nile African Restaurant in Southwest Philadelphia

African Restaurant Week Is Dishing It Out…

Through Sunday, June 30, 2024. Hurry, you have until the end of the week to find a real meal deal. If you eat food, this is for you. It's a great way to celebrate the food and culture of the Diaspora while supporting small bars, cafes, and restaurants. African Restaurant Week cooks up some tasty specialties from the kitchens of 10 African, Caribbean, and African-American restaurants that are offering special dishes from Nigerian, Haitian Ethiopian Jamaican, Liberian, and Mexican in neighborhoods, from Center City to Southwest Philly. The list of participating restaurants contains a few Nigerian restaurants, including Eatwell (106 Chestnut St.), Prime Fusion (2425 Catharine St), and New Era Cuisine (1500 JFK Blvd.); Ethiopian restaurants (Meskerem, 6505 Woodland Ave. and Gojjo, 4540 Baltimore Ave.); a Liberian restaurant (Food Geez, 6326 Sackett St.); a Sierra Leonean restaurant (Aunty K’s, 547 Church Lane in Lansdowne); Haitian restaurant (Gou, 5734 Old Second St.); a Jamaican restaurant (Ackee Tree, 6631 Woodland Ave.); and a Tex-Mex restaurant (Macho’s Delish Mix, 6249 Catharine St.). Reduced prices; $10 and up

Read also:

A Culinary Journey Through Time A Look at Black-Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia

A Culinary Journey Through Time: A Look at Black-Owned Restaurants in Philadelphia

Throughout the 20th century, Black-owned restaurants in Philadelphia continued to evolve and adapt, reflecting the changing social and political landscape Read More » 



Book On Down To This Event…

Saturday, June 29, 2024. Read all about it here: Celebrate the fascinating world of books at the Philly Book Festival. Check out the literacy scene of the latest novels, and authors, and engage with other readers to share your love for words and storytelling. Enjoy book signings and panel discussions. Hosted by Literacy Moment Magazine, Raveena Media Group. Free admission. 11 a.m. EST to 4 p.m. EST. 1301 Belmont Ave. or

Read also:
Book Club Corner Delving into the Rich Tapestry of Black Literature

Book Club Corner: Delving into the Rich Tapestry of Black Literature

In a culture that values inclusion and different voices, book clubs dedicated to examining works by Black authors are thriving. Read More » 


Mothers In Charge Turns 21!

Friday, June 28, 2024. Join WDAS radio personality Patty Jackson at the Mothers in Charge anniversary celebration to mark the nonprofit’s 21 years of service to the community. Jackson will host the event featuring Erica Ford, founder of LIFE Camp Inc., and an awards ceremony honoring Jamal Vann, CEO of Vision Ministries; Shania Bennett, Director of the Office of Youth Engagement, and Reginald Haines, Director of the Re-entry Services program at MIC. It also will spotlight “Walk 4 Peace, “ a peace-and-healing observance on the runway recognizing the bravery of mothers who have been impacted by violence. The “A Walk For Peace” also will posthumously the life and birthday of Khaaliq Jabbar Johnson, the 24-year-old son of Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight, who started the nonprofit after he died in a parking dispute in 2001. The peace-making organization focuses on violence prevention, intervention, and education serving those impacted by violence. Programs include individual and grief support, anger management, reentry services, and mentoring for at-risk adolescent girls and boys. Tickets: $100 each. 5:30 p.m. EST to 8:30 EST. Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue, 4200 City Ave. or