The impact and spread of COVID-19, the current “Stay At Home” order, multiple closures, and uncertainty of what is to come has presented unique challenges at a critical time that prevents us from finalizing elements of the Ohio Black Expo Week events and promotions.

Everyone’s safety is of the utmost importance to us, as well as supporting the vendors, performers, and other organizations that are looking forward to participating. Our solution is to convert this year’s Ohio Black Expo to a virtual one!

We hope you will join us ONLINE on Memorial Day Weekend!

  • Virtual Networking

  • Vendor Directory

  • Community Resources

  • Online Entertainment

  • Virtual Workshops

    • Health & Wellness
    • Business & Finance
    • Seniors & Caregivers

Continue to check and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @theohiobe for updates.

#ohioblackexpo – Motivational speaker, Dr. George Fraser. participated in the Ohio Black Expo back in 1993. Since then this Brooklyn native, who currently resides in Ohio (Cleveland), has continued to inspire Black people to unite for economic empowerment. At the State of Black of America Conference, he shared the African proverb “When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion.” Dr. Fraser also said “There is no power in disconnection. When we connect, we prevent interlopers from coming into our communities and taking and destroying at will. We must connect the dots, that must be our movement in the 21st century. We need a lot of us doing a little, instead of a few of us doing a lot. We need to get together, to get ahead.”

We are cautiously optimistic about the preventative measures being taken by local government and medical officials in Ohio to minimize the impact and spread of COVID-19.

With that said, we are moving forward with finalizing our plans for Ohio Black Expo 2020.

We are thankful for all of the excitement about the return of the expo. The health and safety of all who are participating and those who wish to attend is of the utmost importance to us. We will continue to watch this situation closely and will follow the guidance and recommendations of officials as things progress.

Check our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @theohiobe for updates.

#ohioblackexpo – 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 300 exhibitors. 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.

Save the date for the Ohio Black Expo, May 23-24, 2020 (Memorial Day Weekend). Food trucks, vendors, entertainment, exhibits, networking and more! Join thousands from around Ohio and surrounding states. The Ohio Black Expo is a statewide event in the heart of Downtown Columbus on the Scioto Mile Riverfront in Genoa Park. Come relax, enjoy and be inspired at this annual festival celebrating our culture and heritage. Watch NBC4 -WCMH interview for more information.

#ohioblackexpo – Anita Baker was born in Toledo, Ohio on January 26, 1958. She was later adopted and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Once told she wouldn’t make it in the music industry, Ms. Baker went on to become one of the most sultry iconic voices of our time.

#ohioblackexpo (VIDEO) – On April 3, 1964, Malcolm X delivered one of his most popular speeches in Cleveland, Ohio at the Cory Methodist Church. It was called “The Ballot or the Bullet”. Nine days later, on April 12th, he delivered the speech in Detroit, Michigan. The legendary Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965 in New York.

#ohioblackexpo – Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1872. He attended Howard University and went on to become a master poet. Dunbar died at the age of 33 in 1906 in Dayton. Over 50 schools around the nation bear his name including Dayton Dunbar High School, Dunbar high schools in Baltimore MD and Washington DC and many more.

#ohioblackexpo – Nikki Giovanni grew up in Lincoln Heights, a once thriving predominately Black community in Cincinnati. Born in Tennessee, Giovanni’s family moved to Ohio where she spent her childhood years. Nikki Giovanni attended Fisk University and became a world renown writer and poet.


#ohioblackexpo (VIDEO) The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey was honored with a parade in Columbus, Ohio on September 25, 1923. Ohio’s own world renown artist, Aminah Robinson, memorialized the Garvey Parade in her artwork featured below.

#ohioblackexpo – Martin Luther King Jr. visited Ohio on numerous occasions. In 1958, Dr. King spoke at Central State University for a commencement address with his Alpha brother Dr. Charles H. Wesley (CSU president). On June 9, 1965, MLK Jr. encouraged graduates of Wilberforce University to combat racial injustice, poverty and war.