Cincinnati’s Top African American Summer Festivals

Every summer, normally tranquil spaces in the Greater Cincinnati area like Paul Brown Stadium, Eden Park and Randolph Park in Northern Kentucky suddenly crowd with visitors – some in eccentric garb, some dressed for a night out for the club, and some only suited up for an afternoon of pool-swimming and outdoor-grilling, nearly all in varying states of merriment or disinhibition.


Many summer festival’s roots are deeply embedded in African American cultural history as a way of letting off steam and inverting the traditional social structure; solidifying the notion that bonding with family, friends and community is integral to a healthy society. 


African Americans have an oxymoronic tradition of celebrating the sacred moment of their freedom—whether from…

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