It was 1989 and crack cocaine had all its
black enthusiasts by the pipe; never more prevalent and obviously so
than along the stretch of Burnett Avenue heading north toward its
intersection with Rockdale Avenue.
There are times when Cincinnati Center
City Development Corporation (3CDC) CEO Steve Leeper brings to mind the
Great White Explorers of yore — Christopher Columbus, Capt. John Smith —
who, upon landing on foreign soil, set about making it “new” by
extracting the natives who were already there to make room for the
Pilgrims who will think they landed there first.
The Nov. 12 resignation of McMicken Arts
and Sciences Dean Ronald Jackson at the University of Cincinnati marks a
sad ending and an even sadder beginning for the university’s battered,
tattered and exposed race relations (whatever that means these days.)
He sat on that tiny chair across from me
and poured tea and talked to me in the blackest British accent that was
awesome and made me giggle. He turned up the pinky finger of his
drinking hand and kept my little cup filled. (I took lemon and sugar.)
As we watched our hero Solomon Northup
endure 12 years of kidnap, beatings, witnessing rape, being forced to
lash another slave and learning the subservience of slavery in order to
survive it, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the old black woman.Especially during the beating scenes. She never flinched or looked away.
What I saw in Carter’s ascendancy was
lemmings swimming toward someone else’s manifestation of their own wet
dreams of gaudy consumerism. If hypertension, diabetes and heart
disease won’t kill black folks, then grabbing for luxury items someone
else convinces us we need will.