African-American life has been celebrated in many ways, one of them being festivals of all kinds. They are a means of developing cultural awareness and celebrating with pride the talents and achievements within a group or a community. Some festivals have a long, historical significance, such as those originally held in colonial days, but most of this type are no longer preserved. Some represent religious observances, some are African-based, and others focus on artistic expression. Still others honor African-American leaders. Festivals in the black community aim to provide a positive venue for people to join in a joyful demonstration of unity and culture. Many current celebrations have been initiated to reclaim the past and connect it to the present and may be held to share African-American culture with the larger community. Whatever their purpose, festivals clearly honor the heritage of African Americans.