As Juneteenth Arrives, Harlem's Africa Center Says 'Home Is Here'
"Home isn't just where you're from. It's the sounds that move us. The stories that shape us. And the flavors that heal us."
Narrating a short film for The Africa Center in Harlem, Tifé Odumosu, a Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based artist and animator, conveys a sense of shared experience. He describes a cultural connection that transcends geography, assuring viewers that "Home Is Here," with the center offering education programs and art exhibitions celebrating African history and heritage.
Developed by Droga5 and director Jared Malik Royal, the work arrives just ahead of Juneteenth (June 19), which commemorates the end of slavery on these shores.
"It was important to make our film in Harlem because of the historic significance it has in Black culture and American history," agency creative director Courtney Richardson tells Muse. "As a neighborhood that is a Black mecca of arts, cuisine, fashion, music and more, Harlem served as the perfect backdrop."
Various Black-owned businesses and brands appear, including Sister's Uptown Bookstore, Cross Colours, Sun Gods, Johnny Nelson Jewelry and the 125 Collection.
The sun-kissed take and wealth of smiling faces create an appropriately inviting atmosphere. Clearly, home is all around. It beats deep inside the hearts of hundreds of millions of people across the planet. And the center stands ready to guide folks on a journey of discovery stretching from their ancestral past to a brighter future.
"We want them to get the feeling of home, a feeling that is warm and soulful, a feeling that no matter where you're from, you recognize feelings that can be hard for people far from home to find," Richardson says.
She describes the center as "a place that looks, feels, sounds and smells like home for many. We hope viewers discover more about themselves and others. We want them to see the Africa Center as a destination that creates physical and virtual exchanges of culture and ideas."
Thematically, "Home Is Here" dovetails with Droga5's lauded Hennessy campaign from last year that focused on Maurice Ashley, the first Black chess grandmaster.
"The common vibe really is about showcasing that Black people are not a monolith," Richardson says. "We break barriers across many sectors and experiences of life in so many different ways and have many stories to tell."
Client The Africa Center
Campaign Home Is Here
Title Home Is Here
Agency Droga5 NY
Co-Chief Creative Officer Tim Gordon
Co-Chief Creative Officer Felix Richter
Creative Director Courtney Richardson
Copywriter Gabe Santana
Art Director Germany Lancaster
Copywriter Roselyn Pla
Art Director Martha Gill
Associate Designer Ana Rice
Executive Producer, Film Mike Hasinoff
Producer, Film Kenya Agunloye
Senior Music Supervisor Mike Ladman
Producer, Interactive Teia Meigneux
Senior Business Affairs Manager Kiki Powell
Chief Brand Strategy Officer Harry Rom n-Torres
Senior Brand Strategist Claudia Vitarelli
Senior Brand Strategist Justin Clagette
Brand Strategist Isaiah Brown
Communications Strategy Director Emily Steven
Communications Strategist Gabrielle Deckelman
Group Data Strategy Director Christina Fieni
Senior Data Strategist Rosa Zhang
Account Director Ola Abayomi
Account Director Anthony Gavranic
Senior Project Manager Karen Tshimanga
Client The Africa Center
The Africa Center Board of Trustees The Africa Center
Chief Executive Officer Uzodinma Iweala
Director of Programs Alana Francis de Govia
President and Chief Strategist, ElevenThirtySix Ayofemi Kirby
Artist Ezra Wube
Sister's Uptown Sister's Uptown Bookstore
Film Production Company Moxie Pictures
Director Jared Malik Royal
DOP Evan Burris Trout
Executive Producer Michael Lenic
Production Coordinator Jake Riswold
Casting Nina Day (Casting & Creative Agency)
Editorial Work Editorial
Editor Niles Howard (Kid Sister)
Assistant Editor Julian Laing
Executive Producer Erica Thompson
Producer Samara Kelly
Post Production Nice Shoes
Executive Producer T.J. Sponzo
Producer Serene Bove
Flame Artist Kaya Ono
Color Electric Theatre Collective
Colorist Luke Morrison
Executive Producer Oliver Whitworth
Music James Tillman
Sound Significant Others / Machine Sound
Sound Engineer T. Terressa Tate
Head of Production Alek Rost
Experiential Production Company DotDot
Creative Producer Kate Stevenson
Design Director Chris White
Producer Elizabeth Perez
Developer Chris Liu
Technical Director Jacques Foottit
Art Director Chris Andersen
Creative Agent (Rep & Repeat) Sherry Riad
Interactive Production Company Second Child
Graphics Producer Nereida Valles
Quality Control Manager Lisa Bishai
Quality Control Specialist Hoyu Yiu
Production Artist Emmanuel Perez
Production Artist George McAvoy
Head of Copy and Language Services Laura Standley
Managing Editor of Copy and Language Services Andrew Waldron
Senior Copy Editor Eric McQuade