Talicia Brown-Crowell grew up in San Jose, California. In 1992, Talicia came to Oregon to attend Reed College in Portland, then moved to Eugene in 2000. For 20 years, Talicia has worked in public health, staffed rites-of-passage for Black folks in Memphis and built her successful Black-owned business, Harmony Massage, in Eugene. Her work is inspired by the mentorship of two dearly beloved people in her life. Her best friend of 17 years, Bob Dritz, was the clinic coordinator of White Bird Clinic in Eugene for 25 years and the founder of CAHOOTS. Sobonfu Somé, Talicia’s spiritual teacher for 8 years, is known as the world’s foremost authority in African spirituality. After years of attending predominately white music festivals, then getting to experience Black-centered cultural spaces and Brown family reunions in Gurdon, Arkansas, Talicia developed a deep desire to create safe and connected events that center around Blackness. The question she continually asks herself is: “What would a cultural festival look like today, in this place, that centers Black people, and is for us, by us?” The Black Cultural Festival is her answer to that question.
“When I dare to be powerful–to use my strength in the service of my vision–then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~Audre Lorde