- Family and Parenting
How to Plan For an African American Reunion
Reunite With Your Family
Each year during the 4th July week, my family and I travel to Memphis to join my father's side of the family for a family reunion. I love being able to stay connected with my family!
Black reunions are so much fun because we eat BBQ all day, the party never seems to end, wear a custom made family t-shirts, talk about the good ol' days, listen to some old school music, and just leave all our troubles behind you. You also get to learn about how everyone in the family has been and who in the family is currently having a hard time.
In this article, I'd like to share with you how my family plans our family reunion and activities we like to do.
Photo Credit- Me with my Aunt and cousins. My youngest daughter by my leg.
The Purpose of Having Family Reunions
The purpose of family reunions is to keep in touch with your family. Also learn about your heritage, rekindle relationships, celebrate milestone anniversaries, and meet family you've never met before.
Some families meet every year like mines and some may have a reunion every few years. Family reunions keeps a strong bond going with families and continue to keep them together.
Have your family ever had a family reunion?
How to Plan
Every year my family reunions has been in Memphis because the majority of my family lives there and it's easier for the older members of my family not to have to travel far. So the family get together and decide where in Memphis would we like to have our reunion.
We start name dropping places and the place with the highest vote wins. We decide a place a year in advance to give people in my family time to clear their schedules.
Throughout the year, my family starts saving up money to pay for foods, family reunion t-shirts, location where we're going to have our family reunion at.
Some black families like to create memory books filled with family photos and history about their family but since my family see each other every year we don't do that.
Each year we have to decide what we'd like to have on our t-shirts. We usually decide to use someone that is having a milestone birthday and add their picture on the t-shirts with our family last name. And we like our t-shirts to stand out so we use bright colors like yellow, dark purple, and lime green.
Once we've decided what we want on our t-shirts, we get everyone's t-shirt sizes and collect money for their t-shirt.
Custom Made T-Shirts
If your family is on a budget, you can make your own family reunion t-shirt at home.
What To Have On The Menu
My reunion consist with nothing but BBQ foods. Yum! We keep are menu pretty simple.
Here is a list of foods and drinks that is served..
- Hot Dogs
- Beef Ribs
- Corn on The Cob
- Sodas, Beers, Juice, and Water
- Potato Salad
- Cakes and Pies
- Seafoods like Shrimps, Crawfish, Catfish, and Crab
Black Reunions are not complete without a BBQ Grill! Get yo' grillin' on!
Memphis Visitor Center
Places My Family and I Visited During Our Family Reunion - Memphis Attractions
My family usually all meet up at someone in the families house, eat and then go out on tours in Memphis. The places we've visited has been:
- Beale Street
Beale Street has a great night life but you can also go during the day too. There is several restaurants to choose from serving up soul food. Listen to live blues music and also dance the night away at the clubs.
- The National Civil Rights Museum
The Civil Rights Museum I was able to learn what my culture has gone through during the Civil Rights Movement. Also I was able to visit the Lorraine Hotel that Martin Luther King was assassinated at.
- AutoZone Park
My family and I watched the Memphis Redbirds play baseball. They're a minor league to affiliated with St. Louis Cardinals.
- The Mississippi River
My family and I brought all the kids to watch the river and play at the park.
- The Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo was a hit for the kids! They loved looking and learning about all different kinds of animals
- Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
Not a lot of people know about this museum. You enter a real home that was use as a underground railroad that helped slaves escape to freedom.
- Meeman Shelby Forest State Park
A couple of years ago, my family rented out a cabin in the forest and had our reunion there. We BBQ, went swimming, hiking, and went on boat rides.
Games to Play With the Family
There are several games that keeps the adults and kids entertained throughout the day during my family reunions. Here is what we like to do.
- Play Dominos
- Play Card Games
- Water Balloon Fights
- Family Trivia
- Bounce House for The Kids
- Sports Games like Football or Basketball
- Dance to Music
- Pop Fireworks
Will Smith- Summertime Video
Planning A Reunion Doesn't Have to Be Stressful
Getting family together for a reunion doesn't have to be stressful. Send out invites to let your family know when to start planning for the family reunion. Since my family does a family reunion every year, we don't need to send out invites.
Also another great way to get the message out about your family reunion is using Facebook, email, and of course telephone.
Also remember to hire a photographer to take picture or you and all your family together!
If you're still thinking of a place to have your reunion, visit Memphis! It has great southern hospitality, great food, music, museums, and also it's the place where Elvis lived! You can do a tour of Graceland.