Last updated: August 24. 2013 7:47AM - 120 Views

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If you're throwing a party and you want everyone to be welcome, then you provide the atmosphere and hospitality that makes a person feel like they are part of the crowd.

That's why we believe legitimate concerns are being raised by some members of Lima's black community concerning the choices of musical entertainment at popular community events.

Charles Thomas a former radio personality and a Lima Councilman Jesse Lowe, point to events like Square Fair, Star Spangled Spectacular, Rally on the Square and the upcoming Allen County Fair as venues that feature little entertainment that is of interest to Lima's African-Americans.

The criticism has been out there for years, but is one that continually fails to be addressed. Too often the discussions end with organizers saying they choose the entertainment that raises the money to pay the bills.

We understand the economics, but we also understand that Lima has a population that is 26 percent black and Allen County's black population is 12 percent.

It should also be noted that many of the above events are partially funded by corporations and donors who say they believe in diversity. Such events also are often held on city streets and parks.

Becoming more inclusive in the selection of entertainment is something that organizers of each of the events should seriously address. These events provide a tremendous avenue for bringing the community together. It's a shame if part of the community believes their interests are being ignored, whether they be black, Hispanic or white.

As Thomas noted, it's a "quality of life" issue.

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