The circus has come to town, and it’s not your everyday circus, either.
It's called UniverSoul Circus, billed as the only African American-owned circus in the world. But you've never been here before and you find yourself wondering, from your seat inside the big top, how a circus can have soul. You understand soul food, with its staples of greens and sweet potatoes, and soul music, such as Aretha Franklin singing “Respect.” You understand when somebody says, “You got soul,” and you pump your fist into a black pride salute.
The UniverSoul Circus, headquartered in Atlanta, was founded in 1994 by Cedric Walker, a concert promoter who wanted to give black circus performers a chance to showcase black culture and talent. Its annual appearance here in Prince George’s County is a rite of spring.