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.