Jump On It
Black Austinites party like it's 1997 at a weeklong festival with music, networking, and more
There's no time like the present — and specifically no time like next week — to jump on the opportunity to celebrate Black Austinites' cultural contributions. "Jump On It Week," a festival to "highlight the historical significance of African Americans in Austin," is happening July 30 to August 6.
This eight-day festival packs its calendars with several types of entertainment and opportunities, from live performances, to basketball, to networking. With 14 things to do in 11 different venues — many of which reside in Austin's Historic Six Square — it's like a small, Black South by Southwest. With fewer corporate interests, that is.
"Addressing existing challenges, Jump On It Week seeks to shed light on underutilized Black historical facilities that are being repurposed to benefit non-Black residents," explains a press release. "By educating communities about the area's true history, the event aims to break the cycle of ignorance and ensure a more inclusive and equitable future."
The festival also invites youth in the area to engage with Black role models from the represented organizations and disciplines, including sports, entertainment, and entrepreneurship.
"We firmly believe that by offering resources, edifying [about] Black culture, and providing fun, entertaining social gatherings, Jump On It Week can contribute to the growth and success of our community," said rapper and activist NOOK Turner in the release. Turner grew up in Austin and later cofounded both Jump On It in 1997 and the Black Austin Coalition (BAC) in 2020.
Jump On It Week is his revival of his own concert series held at Rosewood Park, in order to make sure Black Austinites were using the space instead of letting it be overtaken by other groups who felt more welcomed. The concerts drew crowds every Wednesday for 12 weeks, and reprised its success for eight years. It was picked up again in 2014, and has continued ever since.
The BAC brings together several local and national organizations including the Austin Area Urban League, Six Square, the Austin Justice Coalition, NAACP, Huston-Tillotson University, and more. Its major contribution to the festival is a series of workshops organized by the Austin Black Embassy, the result of BAC's organizing efforts.
Jump On It Week includes the following events:
- July 30 — A kickoff party at a private location that has not yet been announced.
- July 31 and August 1 — Workshops by the Austin Black Embassy.
- August 2 — An All Black R&B Party.
- August 3 — A day of fun with a barbecue at Rosewood park, a skate and bowling party, and a 2000s party.
- August 4 — Two of the festival's main events begin with a professional gala and a festival-within-a-festival, celebrating Texas Hip Hop and Cajun food.
- August 5 — The two big events continue: The She A Pro Conference highlights influential Black women with a panel and networking, and the Fat Gator weekend is in full swing with live performances, contests, and more. A celebrity basketball game and a cultural parade are also held on Saturday.
- August 6 — She A Pro and Fat Gator weekend wrap up with boat parties, and one more party at a private location offers what seems to be a wind-down from the weekend's festivities.
Tickets to Jump On It Week are available as passes for the whole weekend ($99, or $199 with shuttle services) or for individual events. Some of the events are free to attend. Buy tickets or RSVP at jumponitonline.com.