Friday, August 17, 2001

Reunion starts on relationships

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The 13th annual Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion Celebration at Sawyer Point kicks off today with a focus on relations between the sexes.

        A town hall meeting titled “Screaming Secrets” will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at Integrity Hall in Bond Hill. The forum will explore relationships between men and women, including infidelity, raising children, defining a worthy man or woman, and satisfying your mate.

        Three noted authors who have written books about male-female companionship will serve as panelists, giving their observations on the topic. The panelists are: Sonia Caulton, self-published author of the national best-selling romance novel Voodoo Love; Dr. Tiy-E Muhammad, a professor of psychology at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta and author of the book Secrets Men Keep; and Jerold M. Bryant, author of Single Man Screaming.

        The discussion will be moderated by Art “Chat Daddy” Sims, a public relations specialist and organizer of “The Original Real Deal Ultimate Relationship Chat,” a monthly event that has gained popularity in the Chicago area.

        Event coordinator Cassandra Robinson said this is the third time the Black Family Reunion has tackled the topic of male-female relationships. Ms. Robinson said the forum usually draws as many as 350 people and she expects the event at Integrity Hall to be “standing room only.”

        “It's a topic that never gets exhausted,” Ms. Robinson said.

        The National Council for Negro Women started the Black Family Reunion 16 years ago to challenge reports of the demise of the black family.

        In years past, the event has been held at regional gatherings nationwide, but for the second straight year is scheduled only for Cincinnati and Washington, D.C. A Midwestern celebration has been in Cincinnati for 13 years; it settled here because Procter & Gamble was originally a major sponsor.

        Ms. Robinson said the fact that Cincinnati's reunion has endured speaks to the energy and dedication of local organizers and strong support of city officials and the business sector. She said a melting pot-style event such as the Black Family Reunion is important particularly when racial tension is so high in the city.

        “Even though there has been unrest, it does not mirror the entire African-American community in Cincinnati,” she said. “I think this year's event will cast a real positive light on the strength and diversity of the black community in Cincinnati.”

        About half of the event's 250,000 attendees come from outside the Tristate.


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