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'Bold and Beautiful' Black Family Reunion returns for 34th year

Part of the Black Family Reunion parade in 2018.
Part of the Black Family Reunion parade in 2018.

"Bold and Beautiful" is the theme of this year's Black Family Reunion. Executive Director Tracey Artis says it's because Black people have had to be bold in America.

“I know, as an African American, a Black woman, a business owner, a mother, a wife, that there are many times where I’ve had to be bold,” Artis says. “But I’ve always still tried to do it in a way to represent my heritage, my culture and myself, in a way that people would still understand my language.”

The Black Family Reunion has drawn as many as 25,000 people, but that was before the pandemic started. Artis says in 2020, the reunion felt the effects.

“We had a drive-thru experience and still thousands of people drove through Sawyer Point. People registered to vote. People got tested for COVID in their vehicles. You had so many of the sponsors just giving away free items.”

Artis says they returned for in-person events last year, and will be back this year. Most events of the Black Family Reunion will be at Sawyer Point Aug. 18-21, with live entertainment, educational booths, voter registration, food and fun.

The four-day event is designed to celebrate and strengthen Black families. Artis says that's as important now as ever. “I believe that we are living in unprecedented times so we have to do things to unify, uplift and encourage, and I hope that’s what the Reunion does each year,” she says.

The reunion includes a parade in Avondale, the festival at Sawyer Point, live music and historical tours of Cincinnati. This is the 34th annual Black Family Reunion.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.