Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion celebrates 35th year

35 Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion
Published: Aug. 19, 2023 at 9:55 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A celebration of togetherness is taking place downtown as the 35th Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion continues through the weekend.

“I had the pleasure of being here for the first Black Family Reunion, and each year it seems to get larger and larger,” said longtime WDBZ personality, Lincoln Ware, who celebrated his 50th year in radio broadcasting as part of the BFR.

Historic strengths and values of the black family are honored and celebrated during this event. Organizers say it’s an event that is one of a kind in the region.

Smiles, laughter and music headlined the BFR parade at the Avondale Town Center, which draws some out year after year and is a marquee event of the storied four-day celebration.

“It shows the community aspect of Cincinnati,” Ware explained. “This is a family city, and it shows here today - as you can see, all the different people from all the different neighborhoods are here in Avondale.

“We’re one of two cities that continue to have the Black Family Reunion and I believe we’ll be the last city standing when it’s all over.”

The first National Black Family Reunion was founded in 1986 by former National Council of Negro Women president and Civil Rights activist, Dr. Dorothy Height. Cincinnati’s first event was held in 1989.

The 35th Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion parade in Avondale kicked off Saturday's...
The 35th Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion parade in Avondale kicked off Saturday's celebration of history and unity.(WXIX)

Ware says this event shows that true togetherness and unity are possible in Cincinnati.

“I tell you it means a lot for the community, he says. “It shows we can come together and be a family for a few days over the weekend - and that says it all for Cincinnati. I know we get a bad rap; you know, families divided, single-parent families, but this is one big family today and we’re proving it here at the Black Family Reunion parade.

In addition to the annual parade, this year’s BFR celebration included a job fair, a local college tour, and an urban concert series at Sawyer Point.

The BFR concludes Sunday, Aug. 20. For a list of Sunday’s events, click here to visit the Black Family Reunion’s website.

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