INDIANAPOLIS - The 43rd Annual Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration kicked into high gear Friday ahead of the weekend festivities planned in downtown Indianapolis.
The event featured concerts, contests, health and job fairs and a corporate luncheon.
The corporate luncheon was held at the Indiana Convention Center at 11 a.m. and honored actor Billy Dee Williams, film director Spike Lee, actress Tisa Campbell and other national and local headliners.
Lee received the Outstanding Achievement award at the luncheon. He did not shy away from making his feelings known about the George Zimmerman verdict.
"We all gotta pray for the Martin family because their son is never coming back. And all our sons are in jeopardy," Lee said.
Rev. Jeffrey Johnson said teens in Indianapolis need to step up and walk the straight line and narrow.
"There is black on black crime too. We got to overcome that with personal choices. Those of us who are a little older can model before them what real manhood is, what real womanhood, is so they can see that. And once they can see it, they can be it," Johnson said.
Music fans may enjoy a free concert planned for Friday night at the American Legion Mall. R&B groups Midnight Star and The O'Jays took the stage beginning at 6 p.m. The concert was free, but VIP passes were available for $40.
In addition to the concert and luncheon, a leadership conference for students leaders was held at the Hyatt Regency downtown at 9 a.m.
For families with small children, special Children's Day activities were held at the convention center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Event organizers said they expect large crowds this weekend as 200,000 people attended the event last year.