The founder of The Ohio Black Expo, Rhonda D. Robinson, was initially inspired to create the Columbus Black Expo after successfully registering 70 plus vendors for the Columbus Black Convention in 1980.

The Columbus Black Expo was held at the Focal Point of Mt. Vernon Plaza from 1981 – 1987. After seven (7) years, realizing that the event was drawing people and vendors from all over the state, she changed the name to the Ohio Black Expo to reflect what was happening.

The first Ohio Black Expo (OBE) event took place at Veterans Memorial downtown. It was held there from 1988 through 1991, peaking at almost 300 exhibitors and over 30,000 visitors. She then decided that OBE should possibly be held in other cities in Ohio. The OBE was held in Dayton at the Dayton Convention Center in 1992. She moved it to Cincinnati, her hometown, in 1993 and 1994 at the Cincinnati Convention Center.



Ohio Black Expo is a statewide humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Ohio’s African American citizens, by establishing and encouraging an independent self-help approach to problem solving.

Our initiatives address several areas that are key to the success and well-being of African Americans in Ohio.

We raise funds for year-round programs and scholarships through our annual Expo Week events during Memorial Day Weekend. The goal for our 4 days of events is to encourage the 1.7 million Black residents in Ohio + the 4 million Black residents in surrounding states to join us for empowerment through our workshops, unity and collaboration through our networking events, and celebration at the Riverfront Culture Fest.

Shaping The Future


Dream Path Program

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OBE Honors

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Hall of Fame

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Ohio Black Educator Awards

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OBE Veterans Honors

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OBE Salute to Black Expollence Business Awards

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