Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Getting together as family

Black Family Reunion: Success

It is easy to criticize when things go wrong in this town. It is just as important to note when things go right.

Such was the case with this past weekend's Black Family Reunion. After roving groups of teens went on a vandalism spree on the second night of last year's three-day event, organizers decided a re-emphasis was needed on the family side of the event.

Their planning seemed to pay off. Police reported far fewer problems this year - only seven disorderly conduct arrests Saturday night, and none of the violence.

Organizers had improved the schedule to have youth concerts coincide with the hours of the event, rather than ending earlier as they did last year. They also emphasized the event's theme, "Building Families Together," meant that responsible parents should keep an eye on their children and not treat the reunion as a street festival where the kids could just be dropped off to party.

The reunion was founded 18 years ago by the National Council of Negro Women in response to reports about the so-called demise of the black family. Cincinnati has hosted the Midwestern celebration of the event for the past 15 years.

The event began Friday and ran through Sunday at Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove. Thousands of visitors from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio attended a parade, concerts, panel discussions, speeches and job fair.

A reunion is meant to be a joyous uniting of old friends and family. We're pleased to see that Cincinnati has gotten back into the spirit of this event.

Fix what failed
Honor, not ridicule
Getting together as family
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