"ROOTS: How deep? How strong?" begins the title of the Robinson family reunion press kit. Then: "A Black Ameican family comes to Washington."
Inside the press folder is a six-page program detailing the four-day event. D.C. and message to All Media. from Moss H. Kendrix, owner of a public relations and marketing outfit. "What the public thinks - counts."
"It's really sort of fancy," said one of the Robinson family elders about the use of a public relations firm to help arrange the family reunion. Something like you'd expect from the Washington side (of the family)."
The Bonds (the family who hosted the reunion in Washington this weekend) are friends of mine," said Kendrix. "They told me what was happening and I said I'd help out. My background makes me sensitive to this sort of thing: besides, I became a member of the family myself momentarily."
The elaborate organization of the reunion seemed befitting the Robinson family, the descendants of John Robinson of North Carolina, who was bron shortly after the end of the Civil War Rev. Gilmore Robinson, who is the family's national chairman, is reserching the group's roots through local and state archives.
About four years ago, when eight of the Robinson family members were attending a funeral, they decided that they should get together more often, and under more pleasant circumstances.
"We knew that if we left it up to chance there would be little chance of all of us getting together again," Rev. Robinson recalled. "Since we have people in Michigan, D.C. West Virginia. North Carolina and New York, we decided to make each family part of a state, and have state chairman."
According to Robinson, the family then passed an elaborate constitution and adopted by laws governing the rules of family behavior, particularly in regard to money matters and entry into the family organization.
Each state is responsible for putting on a reunion in turn, and each state contributes money used to support the reunion efforts.
"This is one of the best so far," said Jerald Robinson, fanning himself frantically with his reunion kit in yesterday's blistering heat.
"You know we must have a dynamite family if we can still get along in this kind of weather," he said.
About 300 people attended the reunion and participated in tours of the White House, Lincoln Memorial and Duke Ellington's Mall.
Some of the group then went shopping at Montgomery Mall.
The reunion was arranged by Dorothy Robinson Bond and Rupert Bond, who own Bond Bookkeeping and Tax Service, an according firm in Southeast Washington.