BEST BET : Family Matters

It began in 1986 as a sweeping effort by the National Council of Negro Women to strengthen what many black people saw as a vanishing institution: the family.

Now in its ninth year, the Black Family Reunion Celebration provides a day of family fun, food, arts and entertainment in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Memphis, Tenn., Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles.

The local event is the largest, regularly attracting hundreds of thousands. Featured events today include a Gospelfest concert, a children’s pavilion and presentations by renowned motivational speaker Les Brown.

This year’s theme is “Another Family For Peace,” a reminder of the troubling domestic and urban violence that has taken its toll on black families in recent years. Accordingly, the day’s


workshops, performances, exhibits and forums will focus on violence-related issues.

Dorothy Height, president of the National Council of Negro Women, says it’s time African Americans address the problem of violence.

“We have to put forth the call that we must take personal responsibility for finding a solution to the unprecedented violence in our cities,” she said. “We not only want to raise consciousness, we want to put people in touch with the tools and the resources to make a difference.”



The Black Family Reunion Celebration, Exposition Park, Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street; 1 to 8 p.m. today; free.