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Dunbar birthday celebrated at Wright Dunbar block party with coronavirus precautions

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Wright Dunbar Days block party was held Sunday in Dayton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Sunday’s beautiful weather and the opportunity to honor Black history brought Austen Goolsby out to attend the Wright Dunbar Day block party in Dayton’s Wright Dunbar neighborhood.

The first annual Wright Dunbar Day was organized by Dayton businesswoman Tae Winston to celebrate the birthday of Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who was born on June 27, 1872.

Dayton resident Goolsby, 30, said it is good to remember Dunbar “to remind people that we have such beautiful people on earth to strive for better.”

>> RELATED: Dayton provides $175K for new Wright Dunbar project

Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first internationally renowned African American poet and writer, is the subject of free screening at the Dayton Metro Library Main branch Feb. 2.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first internationally renowned African American poet and writer, is the subject of free screening at the Dayton Metro Library Main branch Feb. 2.

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

“Let’s not forget the people who were here before us,” said Winston, who opened The Entrepreneurs Marketplace at 13 N. Williams St. in December and the Entrepreneurs Shoppe at 1109 W. 3rd St. in May.

She said the block party, which featured music and vendors selling food, clothing, jewelry and other items, was also an opportunity to showcase the neighborhood's businesses after the very difficult times of the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wright Dunbar Day block party was held on Sunday, July 5, in Dayton’s Wright Dunbar neighborhood. It was organized by Dayton businesswoman Tae Winston (center), who owns The Entrepreneurs Marketplace and The Entrepreneurs Shoppe, both located in the neighborhood. LYNN HULSEY/Staff Photo
The Wright Dunbar Day block party was held on Sunday, July 5, in Dayton’s Wright Dunbar neighborhood. It was organized by Dayton businesswoman Tae Winston (center), who owns The Entrepreneurs Marketplace and The Entrepreneurs Shoppe, both located in the neighborhood. LYNN HULSEY/Staff Photo

“I want to bring some light back here,” Winston said. “It’s been hard for me. And I’m nervous now because we might have another shutdown.”

RELATED: How Dayton region small businesses adapted to survive

She made face masks and social distancing mandatory for the block party so people would feel more safe gathering in the midst of the pandemic.

“If there were not masks required I would probably not be here,” said TJ Cartwright, 28, of Dayton. “I want to come out and support Tae and support Black businesses and support the Black economy.”

Face masks and social distancing were mandatory at the Wright Dunbar Day block party. It was held on Sunday, July 5, in Dayton’s Wright Dunbar neighborhood. LYNN HULSEY/Staff Photo
Face masks and social distancing were mandatory at the Wright Dunbar Day block party. It was held on Sunday, July 5, in Dayton’s Wright Dunbar neighborhood. LYNN HULSEY/Staff Photo

Janon Adams was working at a booth for the Dayton-based online retailer, 1019 Kurve.

“We just wanted to get out and represent Dunbar Days,” Adams said.

Nickee Wagner operates her Natural Livity soap company inside the Entrepreneurs Shoppe and in Clayton and had a booth at the block party. She was glad that people came out despite the pandemic.

The Wright Dunbar Day block party was held on Sunday, July 5, in Dayton’s Wright Dunbar neighborhood. It was organized by Dayton businesswoman Tae Winston, who owns The Entrepreneurs Marketplace and The Entrepreneurs Shoppe, both located in the neighborhood. LYNN HULSEY/Staff Photo
The Wright Dunbar Day block party was held on Sunday, July 5, in Dayton’s Wright Dunbar neighborhood. It was organized by Dayton businesswoman Tae Winston, who owns The Entrepreneurs Marketplace and The Entrepreneurs Shoppe, both located in the neighborhood. LYNN HULSEY/Staff Photo

“It’s really nice that it’s not stopping people from supporting local businesses,” Wagner said. “We really need the support.”

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