Friday, August 31, 2001

Family reunion a kick start

Lincoln Heights event this weekend

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LINCOLN HEIGHTS — Family reunion days will be celebrated in this small village Saturday through Monday, kicking off a new revitalization plan in housing and commercial development.

        Mayor Shirley Salter said this weekend will signal a new beginning, new direction and new outlook for the village.

        “We adopted a community urban renewal plan on June 1,” Mayor Salter said. “It is designed to develop new housing of all types and to attract new commercial development.”

        Part of the new outlook will include trying to attract more people to get back to city status, Mayor Salter said.

        Lincoln Heights' population fell below 5,000 in 1990, to 4,790, and was no longer classified as a city. The 1999 figures showed an 8.2 percent drop to 4,397.

        “I think we have a very sound village council and we are working together,” Mayor Salter said.

        Lincoln Heights was founded by and has been governed by blacks since 1946.

        It is the birthplace of many notable people such as poet and Virginia Tech professor Nikki Giovanni, actor Hari Rhodes, legendary music group the Isley Brothers, and former Bengals player Neal Craig.

"I remember when ...'
               Charles Whitehead, president of the Ashland Oil Foundation, will serve as grand marshal of the parade Saturday.

        “I feel honored to be asked to serve as grand marhal,” Mr. Whitehead said. “I remember when the Lincoln Heights Family Days were first started. But I never knew I would some day be asked to serve as grand marshal of the parade.”

He said growing up in Lincoln Heights was very meaningful for him because there were a lot of people who had relocated there from the south.

        “We had a good mixture of southern culture. We didn't lock doors. We raised gardens and practically everybody volunteered to do civic work,” he said. “Having a family reunion in the village sort of brings back that culture.”

        Mr. Whitehead lives in Villa Hills, but still maintains the house on Shepherd Lane they lived in when he grew up in Lincoln Heights.

Parade, music, fireworks
               The celebration will begin at noon Saturday with a parade starting at Douglas and Chicago. It will move from Douglas to Chicago, to Leggett, on to Schumard, MaGee and end at the Lincoln Heights YMCA, Lindy and MaGee.

        Entertainment Saturday afternoon will include internationally known jazz artist Kathy Wade, RAMZ, saxophonist Bobby Bright and jazz artist Bruce Minnefield.

        There will be a gospelfest Sunday afternoon and a boxcar derby Monday, followed by a Labor Dayfireworks display.

The can-do spirit
               “This is a big day for Lincoln Heights because of its historical significance and its culture, and because this brings back a can-do spirit,” said Art Slater, urban affairs consultant for the village.


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