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25th Anniversary Black Family Reunion Celebration Draws Hundreds

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By Jessica Jordan

Cultural events and entertainment mark the 25th anniversary Black Family Reunion Celebration. The festival, hosted by the National Council of Negro Women, began today despite the loss of one of its most ardent supporters.

Long-time civil rights activist Dr. Dorothy Height never missed this one-day mega festival. She led the council for 40 years as president. In April 2010, she passed away. We spoke to event producer Shiba Haley about the challenges of planning the reunion without Height.

"This year we weren't sure what we were going to do after losing Dr. Height. We didn't have all the time that we normally have. It usually takes about six months so we really did months of work in six weeks," Haley says.

And how is the festival different this year?

"The biggest difference is not physically having her here because she didn't miss it she stayed from the beginning to the end to the last concerts she kept us motivated. She would come and stay there and was always so positive," Haley says.

The festival attracts nearly 250,000 people every year.

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