National Black Family Reunion

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The Black Family Reunion Celebration (also written about as the National Black Family Reunion and, most recently, The Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion Celebration) is a two- to three-day cultural event, held annually the third weekend of August, to "reinforce the historic strengths and traditional values of the Black family." It is coordinated by the National Council of Negro Women.


The Black Family Reunion was first established by civil rights leader Dorothy Height in 1989 in Cincinnati, Ohio.[1][2] Historically, the Black Family Reunion has also taken place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (as recently as 2011) and in other cities across the United States.[3]

The observance can be said to be a response to charged social politics in the United States during the 1980s regarding African-American family structure and domestic life, such as that demonstrated by Bill Moyers' 1986 CBS documentary The Vanishing Family: Crisis in Black America, among other publications.[4][5][6] The stated mission of the Reunion is a "cultural week and event which brings consumers, corporations, and communities together to focus on the historic strengths and values of the Black Family" and to "showcase" and "reinforce" the "historic morals of the Black family."[7]

The 24th annual Black Family Reunion Celebration held its first day's activities on the National Mall near the Washington Monument on September 12, 2009, the same day as the Taxpayer March on Washington, fueling controversy over attendance figures.[8]

The 2020 reunion was held largely online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a one-day "call to action" held in Sawyer Point Park.[9][10]

Representation in art[edit]

In 1994, the National Black McDonald's Operators Association commissioned prolific D.C.-based artist Byron Peck to paint a Reunion-themed mural on 14th street in Washington.[11] He employed three students and three artist assistants and based the work on a friend's family photos representing multiple generations.[12][13] Construction in the area threatened to obscure the mural in 2012.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Black Family Reunion". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  2. ^ "Dorothy Irene Height". Retrieved 2020-11-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Black Family Reunion Celebration". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  4. ^ "National Black Family Reunion Celebration". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  5. ^ "The Vanishing Family: Crisis in Black America". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  6. ^ "The Vanishing Family: Crisis in Black America | UC Berkeley Library". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  7. ^ "Black Family Reunion". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  8. ^ Alcindor, Yamiche (September 14, 2009). "Seeking Healing, Seeing Hostility". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2009.
  9. ^ "Black Family Reunion". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  10. ^ "UC Health Day in the Park". Retrieved 2020-11-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Art on the walls". 2010-12-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Montgomery, David (2004-11-06). "The Mural Of the Story". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  13. ^ "Spotlight on Artists: G. Byron Peck and Black Family Reunion 1994". Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  14. ^ "The Location: The Story Behind U Street's "Black Family Reunion"". WAMU. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  15. ^ Location, The (2010-12-23). "Art on the Walls". the location. Retrieved 2020-11-20.

External links[edit]