The Blige family reunion was established by Mrs. Gracie “Dolly” Green and held at the home of her mother, Mrs. Gracie Blige Barnard. I am not sure of the exact date of the first reunion; however, the first one I attended was in 1962. It was called the Blige, Brown, Barnard and Houston family reunion and included the descendents of Renty, Andrew and Ben Blige.
As the reunion grew, Mrs. Green decided to expand from a two-day event to a three. We had a banquet, cookout and church on Sunday at Bryan Neck Baptist Church.
With the passing of so many of our older family members and the slow participation of our younger peoples, the reunion was scaled back to a cookout and church on Sunday.
But the young people of our family have picked up the torch and have started to rebuild the family reunion again. The reunion held July 12 had more than 200 family members attend. Most of them were from New York, Florida, New Jersey and the local Georgia area.
It was coordinated by Bertha Blige and was a roaring success. I look forward to the next one.
—Wilhelmina Blige Jefferies