Fathers honored during Black Dads Matter Jazz Brunch Cruise


According to 9-year-old Naarah Fritz, her father Aubrey Fritz is an Extraordinary Black Dad “because he is good at many things. . . We play with dolls, games, and sometimes Tik-Toc”.

This expression was just a portion of the winning essay written and submitted by Naarah in the 2021 Why My Dad is an Extraordinary Black Dad (EBD) contest. And Sunday, June 20th, Father’s Day was the perfect occasion to honor, celebrate and toast Mr. Aubrey Fritz.

The festivities were held in conjunction with this year’s Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas Black Dads Matter Jazz Brunch Cruise. A very surprised Mr. Fritz was presented his medal by the first EBD recipient Mr. Jeffery Pinkerton. Following smooth sailing on the river, a delicious brunch featuring prime rib and baked chicken, soulful sounds performed by an awesome Jazz Band, the presentation concluded with a champagne toast to this year’s winner, Aubrey Fritz, the 2021 Black Dads Matter Extraordinary Black Dad.

This year’s ‘sold out’ Black Dads Matter Jazz Brunch Cruise received an unexpected sponsorship from representatives of world-known DISNEY! As a sponsor, DISNEY granted permission to treat all our guests to a sneak peek trailer of their upcoming movie Jungle Cruise. In addition, Disney provided complimentary movie tickets to Mr. Fritz and his family when the movie hits local theaters on July 24th.

“This was an extraordinary June for the Black Arts Festival. We started the celebration on May 31st as we observed the 100th Anniversary of the Black Wall Street Massacre. Every Friday throughout the month of June, in partnership with the Community Haven under the direction of Brother Kevin Muhammad, we presented a black film as part of our Oscar Micheaux Black Film Festival. Our Artist-To-Artist Roundtable allowed visual artists to speak their mind about what it is like to be an artist that happens to be black in America. We had record numbers attend our Scratching Your Roots Black Genealogy Workshop in partnership with Chatt State. This Juneteenth Independence Day celebration was like no other. First the City of Chattanooga makes it a paid holiday for city employees. Then at the speed of light the United States Congress passed a bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday”, said Ricardo Morris, Founder & CEO, Chatta Festival of Black Arts & Ideas.

Recognition and gratitude were expressed to: Artists, Volunteers, and sponsors: Benwood, Footprint, and Lyndhurst Foundations, as well as Disney, EPB and River City. We also thank our community partners Bessie Smith, Chattanooa Boys Prep, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, City of Chattanooga, The Chattanooga News Chronicle, Coca Cola, Community Haven, Keeody Gallery, Proof Bar and the Young Ladies of Power.

Font row, from left: Aminah and Naarah Fritz, wrote essay.
Second row, from left, Jerri Fritz, Mom/wife, and Aubrey Fritz, 2021 Extraordinary Black Dad Winner; Ricardo Morris, Founder & CEO Chatta Festival of Black Arts & Ideas; and 2019 Extraordinary Black Dad Winner, Jeffrey Pinkerton and wife, Akira Pinkerston. (Photo credit: Adrian Edwards)