My partner and I were once walking to
Findlay Market from the spooky end of Green Street. We held hands as we
neared the market. A scruffy, possibly homeless, black man approached. I
made eye contact with him. At first, he spoke amicably. Until he saw that we were hand in hand.
Ginger Dawson is an iconic woman for more
reasons than her aesthetic, though her blunt bangs, her
from-a-bottle-henna-red hair and her penchant for black and/or retro
clothes aligns her more readily to the equally iconic Punk designer
Vivienne Westwood than to the “genteel” antiques mall proprietress she,
ahem, once was.
In the mid-1990s when Venus and Serena
Williams were teenagers, when the jangle of beaded scalp-tight cornrows
and silver braces on their teeth long preceded waist-length weaves and
fake painted fingernails, neither blacks specifically nor America generally knew
exactly what we were looking at when we looked at the Williams sisters.
The night before I sat down to write
this, I had formulated in my head the perfect first sentence to describe
my emotional station, but I have now lost that to anxiety, to slumber,
to dreams. The best sentence is this one:
My kidneys are failing me because I have failed my body.
Dear Santa Ono: At the risk of putting everybody all up
in our business, I am writing you this as a sincere favor — to help you
by telling you some key things about yourself, your current station and
ways you can redeem yourself and the University of Cincinnati.
Bill Cosby created The Cos — perhaps unofficially in the early 1970s, after breaking a color barrier by being cast in in I Spy in 1965 — as a means of convincing us he wasn’t at all like that lecherous curmudgeon Bill Cosby. Again.
I detest summer in Cincinnati. Whenever I hear sirens — and living on a boisterous corner of Woodburn Avenue for the past 13 years I hear plenty of sirens — I think: Cincinnati police must be taxed and overworked.
If Charles Bukowski had a cousin who was
slightly less self-destructive, not at all a womanizer and who lurked in
the deeper shadows of Bukowski, writing in the margins, it would have
been Larry Gross.
Rachel Dolezal’s adopted black brother said: “It all started with the hair.” If she weren’t in the news for being
black but really white, I would say that “starting with the hair” would
most definitely make the recently resigned president of the Spokane
chapter of the NAACP a black woman.
As Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey
Blackwell prepared to hand in his city manager-ordered 90-day plan to
curb this city’s outburst of violence, black folks from Avondale to
Westwood, Walnut Hills to Bond Hill to Winton Hills and even murderous
black parents under the jurisdiction of the local branch of Ohio Jobs
and Family Services behaved as though their black lives — and no others —
mattered worth a damn.
When Thom Shaw was alive, sometimes I
would do a drive-by to see if his little black truck with the ARTWERK
license plate was in the parking lot in Essex Studios. If it was and I
had some time — because Thom Shaw could talk me under the table — I’d
pull in and make my way back to his space.