LIFE

 08  APRIL K.A. Simpson

The public has been advised to avoid all unnecessary social contact and travel, and are urged not to congregate in places with large numbers, including pubs, clubs, restaurants and fitness facilities as well as to avoid gatherings with family and friends.The measures are intended to help stem the spread of the virus and could be made much more stringent should the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise. If you are currently self-isolating, click on any of the following photos in the slideshow and read about some  activities you could undertake to keep yourself entertained amid the ongoing pandemic.

 
LIFE

 22  APRIL K.A. Simpson

Think back to the first time that you ever fell in love. The first time his lips touched yours and made your heart melt. Remember one of your first dates. You and your new beau took in a movie at Newport on the Levee and after the movie, spent close to an hour making out in his car on an empty Newport city back-street.

It reminds me of Rahim (pictured here), the allusively attractive French newbie in a school of hyper-sexual British teens in this year’s breakout Netflix series, “Sex Education”. He appears at the school during a carnal upheaval and disrupts the school’s hierarchical paradigm...but no spoilers here, you are just going to have to watch the series for yourself to see the who’s, what’s, when’s and especially the how’s.

But I will say that there are a number of breakups and heartbreaks that season the story line, and all of them seem to have a myriad of stages. I bet it’s still permanently engraved in your mind the day when your world came crashing down around you...the day when the one that you thought you would be with for the rest of your life no longer wanted to be in a relationship with you.

"Hoop-shirts and penny-loafers Batman! What are you going to do now?"

 

Despite the fact that you are going to have to find a new apartment (if you guys live together) and how much it is going to cost to pay for the deposits of the phone, internet and cable services, do not get caught up in the break-up woes. Jealousy and revenge are sweet, but it is so unbecoming of the true aficionado of class and social grace that you know that you are (or at least you think you are).

 

The truth is, the reason why there are so many ugly break-up stories floating around Cincinnati is because neither of the two people involved (or three, depending on how freaky you are) know exactly what types of emotions are going to erupt when one decides to end a relationship. Speaking from experience, there are 3 distinct phases to a break up that a jilted lover will go through before they move on with the rest of their life. I do realize that each situation that initiates a break-up is different, but in general, these are the 3 emotional phases to look out for.

 

If you know what to expect, maybe that next break-up will not end up with you spending a night in the Hamilton County Detention Center, missing your left Timberland boot and wondering where everything went wrong.

 

PHASE 1: Where did the love go?

 

The first phase is usually the most difficult to get past and the one that hits you the hardest. During this phase, your heart feels like it has just gone through a cheese grater and was plopped back into your chest, still ripped and frayed. During this phase you repeatedly try and talk to the one who used to love you about the reasons why he kicked you to the curb so readily. Because of the nature of the beast, this could end up two different ways. He will tell you the reasons or he will not. Either way, you will be jousted into the 2nd phase weather you want to or not.

PHASE 2 Find ways to change yourself to get him back

 

After a couple of pints of Graeter’s Ice Cream and long nights of being a wall flower at the Dock, you start to think about ways of changing yourself to become a better person. You look deep within yourself to find the things about you that you are ashamed of and dislike. You concoct broad and unrealistic ways of reinventing yourself so that the one that just asked for the keys to his apartment will take you back into his open arms.

 

PHASE 3: Acceptance

 

Hopefully, this mantra of self delineation will bring you to the conclusion that he does not want to have you as a lover any longer and that maybe you are better off without him, for the time being. You should take this as a diving board. Whether you want to dive back into another relationship, or maybe pick up another degree at the University of Cincinnati. Whatever you want to do, this is the time to do it.

 

In the back of your mind, you are always going to hope that the man of your dreams comes back to his senses and wants you back. If that happens, make sure he knows that this fly-by-night cavalcade romance can not continue if he truly wants to revisit the relationship.

 

By chance, if it is the other way around, keep it in your mind to leave him be and let him find his way. If the way that he finds leads him back to you, then you two were truly meant to be.

 

Let him fly gurl....let him fly!

 
 
LIFE

 04  MAR K.A. Simpson

“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” - Elton John 

 

Successful startup founders are often hailed as superhuman, but the reality is they’re regular people like you and me. Well, maybe not exactly.

Given the unusual lifestyle of an entrepreneur, and that so many are fueled by the promise of wild riches, it comes as no surprise that many startup founders share inspirational stories about overcoming adversity. And many quote some sort of inspirational item that helped get them through those hard times. 

My inspiration has always been music.

           

We all have a soundtrack to our lives. Some are an eclectic mashup of county and rock and roll. Some soundtracks simply stay within one genre. My soundtrack comprises a little of all the above. But there are three artists’ work which has stayed on high rotation throughout my entire life. For the first 20 years of my life it was a toss-up between Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin. But when I turned 20, an album was released that dropped into my soul and expanded my mind. 

 

On August 25, 1998, Ms. Lauryn Hill released her solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and immediately became a standard in my internal soundtrack. It arrived into my world at a time that my life was in a phase of transition. I was living away from home to the first time in my life an in much need of grounding. This album also came at a time when hip-hop was emerging as a commercial powerhouse, just a year-and-a-half after hip-hop lost the second of its album also came at a time when hip-hop was emerging as a legendary rap giants, when the Notorious B.I.G. was murdered on March 9, 1997 following the death of Tupac Shakur on September 13, 1996. Ms. Hill stuck her foot in it for delivering a cyclone of an album whose tremendous depth resonated throughout my soul and is still being felt today.

 

           

At the time of release, hip-hop was struggling to find its own identity—nestled uncomfortably between the identities of R&B and Rap. What helped to make this particular album stand out was that it could school both genres.

           

A far cry from today’s rap, where there is more singing than rapping, the art of rap in the late 1990’s still hung close to its origins emitting intermittent and indiscriminate violence making it hard for America to legitimize its existence. With Miseducation, Hill was jutted into America’s living rooms. This happened, of course, also due to her starring role alongside Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and her popularity as being a member of another one of the groups on my internal soundtrack, The Fugees, Hill was, in some circles, being called an unconventional pop princess.

However, when Hill swept the Grammy's Pop category in 1999, she shifted the definition of pop music and made sure no one would ever consider her to be “other” again. 

           

It's an understatement that in 2019, just over twenty years since its release, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has earned its protected platinum status of most every musical genre. Just like a fine Kentucky bourbon, her melodic syncopations have aged incredibly well to shift our society's consciousness without us even knowing. Hill’s reactionary solo album definitely schooled the Grammy Awards' perception of hip-hop that year, at a time when the award show was working on the tail end of about a decade of ignoring the fact that rap was a viable art form. 

Throughout the early years of rap in the 1980’s, it struggled to be adequately and respectfully recognized by the Recording Academy. On February 24, 1999, Hill made history at the 41st Grammy Awards when she was the first hip-hop artist to win the Grammy for Album of the Year. She also was the first woman to take home five Grammy Awards in one night. Those were two milestones for music genres, thanks to Lauryn Hill... one for hip-hop and one for women in music.

           

Singing and rapping were always play-cousins yet identifying both as hip-hop was something many struggled with. Perhaps it was the street hustler image of rap in the ’80s and ’90s mixed with the super-smooth romanticism of R&B in the ’90s New Jack Swing Era that made it so difficult to believe the two could fit together under one umbrella. Hill did that. She planted the seed with “Killing Me Softly” on The Fugees’ The Score album two years prior, but Miseducation made it ever more apparent of her pop royalty status. 

           

It was Hill who poured her feelings into a hip-hop album. Miseducation tackled love lost, distrust, pregnancy, and self-actualization. At 23 years old, Hill was trying to figure it all out—and exactly what I was going through at the time of its release. Hill proved that one great idea can change the world. In her case, her great idea was manifested through her debut solo album.

           

Well here it is… an insight into my internal soundtrack. If you're feeling uninspired and are sick of staring at that same blank canvas you call a workspace, take a listen to these other albums that have inspired me over the years. Call it a playlist that sparked my creativity and helped me to look at my work in a new light.

USHER – My Way

In my years just returning home from military service in 2001, I attended the University of Cincinnati. One weekend, I found myself trying to write my 12,000-word dissertation with less time left than I'd hoped. My mind blanked every time I sat down in front of the computer screen to type and I became so infuriated with myself that the only artist I could listen to was USHER whose melodic swoons and vocal runs pulled words out of my quickly disintegrating brain and coaxed them onto the computer screen.

 

Aretha Franklin – 30 Greatest Hits 

This compilation is one of the most recognizable compilations of hits ever made. For example, on the fourth track, "Dr. Feelgood", Franklin's lilting voice bounces off a lounge-y piano riff accompanied by a complete horn section and an organ, seasoning the song with her Baptist church background. It's enough to get your mind and heartbeat racing, let alone what becomes of your creative prowess once you've listened to all thirty songs. 

Jay-Z – Blueprint

If you are feeling uninspired, prepare for a mind-alteration when you listen to Jay-Z's twisted but poignant album. The song "Renegade" on its own is a warped rap battle between Jay-Z and Eminem. It's series of melodic down-beated infractions of sound and multitrack voice overlays adds a creative depth that inspired me to want more out of whatever project I was working on at the time. The album will quickly get your mind set on the task at hand. At one point, my task was to come up with a storyline which incorporated a circus of flying gorillas, choreographed dance moves and enough profanity to render it strictly watershed material. Listening to this album helped me through it!

Stevie Wonder – Innervisions

Producer, composer, pianist, visionary, and maestro. Wonder reinvents music for the post-Civil Rights era. As a result, Innervisions is like a snapshot of Black America, seen through the mind's eye of many of those who have shaped my own life. “Too High” looks at drug addiction. “Living for the City” addresses urban issues, and “Jesus Children of America” conveys the cynicism of some organized religions. But it's his syncopated rhythms and instrumental overhauls which is coupled with the familiarity in the subject matter of his words which makes it a go-to when my

creativity is stifled.

 

An Honorable Mention: The Original Kings of Comedy 

This film/soundtrack isn't anything beyond a large gathering of people having a great time. This is not to say the movie doesn't pack quite a bit of attitude. In fact, it even sparks an occasional thought with its razor-edged observational humor, which surveys Black culture (and society in general) with an always frank, sometimes shocking, but always refreshing attitude.

Many times, I remember having this movie playing in the background when I lived in a fraternity house in college and several of my white fraternity brothers occasionally found themselves confounded by cultural references which simply didn't resonate across racial lines. But, as a whole, when Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric The Entertainer and the late Bernie Mac, addressed a human condition which could be understood by people of many races and touched on issues as universal as hating other people's misbehavin’ kids, playing hard-to-reach when bill collectors called on the phone, husbands and wives being misaligned about their sexual expectations and what an adult thinks about a young kid who seems gay. Every time I listen to these four hilarious storytellers, it reminds me of Thanksgiving dinner at my Great-Aunt Sarah's house when I was younger; my mother, my grandmother, her brother, a slew of my uncles and cousins telling stories and laughing at life. 

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LIFE

 05  FEB K.A. Simpson

 

“I’m not being racist but…”

That was the disclaimer that a white man sent to me online after I introduced myself. The guy went on to tell me that it just isn’t his preference. In a fit of righteousness, I attempted to get up on my soapbox and begin to argue the shade of racism that he was throwing my way but then thought I’d just write about it instead. 


In the world of gay online dating that has popped up in the last decade here in Cincinnati, one’s race has seem to continue to determine romantic connections, even if the potential suitor thinks it does or not. This is not just a Cincinnati phenomenon. Across the country, and even around the world, the vast hold of systematic oppression based on race still holds, pressuring some queer Black and Brown men to lie or hide their racial/ethnic identity in online dating spaces like Jackd and Grindr in order to seal the deal online. 

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Blackout Cincinnati sat down with several men who have experienced the aforementioned and who admitted not telling the complete truth during their online activities.

 

One queer man of color that we spoke with is half-Korean and half-white American with a common American-normative name. But online he leaves out the former descriptive trait and waits until he meets someone to reveal all of his full heritage, that is his racial/ethnic make-up, because men sometimes have a preconceived notion of the prowess of Asian men. 

 

Another person we spoke with is Black but has self-identified as mixed-race on Jack'd because he doesn't want to be unsolicited with unfavorable comments like, “Do you want to dominate me?” and pummeled with the assumption that he only wanted to be the  tops in their encounter.

These are just a few stories that illustrate the affects of racism within online dating communities comprising mostly gay men.

 

These stories are not unique to Cincinnati. Many engulfed in the world of online hookup sites say that white gay men respond more often to messages from other white men than from men of color. 

 

Some white men attempt to minimize the subtle racism by claiming their comments are merely “preferences.” But these so-called preferences cause significant harm. They can cause some gay Black and Brown men feel undesirable and self conscious. 

 

In other words, it’s a real thing and it’s called sexual racism. It causes this awful self-perpetuation of self-hate, with its facilitation of perceived social appropriateness. But how will the circle be broken? Especially since the term sexual racism has heavy social condemnation. First one needs to understand that the word “racist” applies to more than just what we have come to realize is active racism, like the recent activities of  white supremacist and neo-Nazi in Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

This would be just a start. But with the rise of the identification of sexual racisim prominating online gay spaces, this could open avenues for implementation of research that could identify strategies for reducing sexual racism and changing the way that people think about race and romance. There is, indeed, a link between racism and sexual racism so the aforementioned is the next logical step to its eradication.   

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 15  JAN Staff Report

 

It's no secret that Black Americans make up and influence a large part of the LGBTQ community. Haven’t you seen Pose on Netflix or read anything by James Baldwin? 

The Black LGBTQ community has disproportionately ‘stuck their foot’ into carving out our custom-fit niche in the ongoing fight for social, racial and economic justice. According to the Williams Institute, there are more than 12% of the US population who self identify as being LGBTQ are Black. 

 

There are some very unique issues that come with being gay AND a person of color. Despite the end of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow Laws the Black community continues to experience bias, discrimination and prejudice at all levels of society. Now add being gay on top of that, bringing that same prejudice into the very community you live.  

LGBTQ people of color especially Blacks and Hispanics, were instrumental figures  during many of the earliest milestones of the gay rights movement. Today, however, these same groups have been denied many of the benefits of the revolution we've sparked. We've led riots at Stonewall in New York in 1969, Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco in 1966, and Cooper Do-nuts in Los Angeles in 1959. In addition we've also fronted early legal battles.

LGBTQ persons of color serve as few of the categorized multi-marginalized people who live in America. These microaggressions manifest through bouts of both racism and heterosexism. Not too much has been studied about this multi-layered affect due mostly to the lack of measurement tools to assess this unique experience. One way to measure could be found via online dating phenomenon. Those of a certain age can remember dialing up a 1-800 number to leave a sound recording of your profile only to check your back an hour later and found no one had left a corresponding message to your recording. 

In the new world of online dating, for the LGBTQ community, your race affects your romantic and sexual connections, whether your potential partners realize it or not. The aforementioned multi-layered discrimination sometimes pressure queer men of color to lie about or hide their racial/ethnic identity in online dating spaces like Grindr in order to get positive romantic and sexual attention.

 

Turning to economics, though unemployment is down and the US economy is somewhat stable the Black gay community still gets the raw end of the stick due of persistent double discrimination with regard to stable and safe housing options, access to affordable healthcare and fewer educational opportunities. 

 

In the 2019 study published by The Williams Institute titled, “LGBT Poverty In The United States,” shows that LGBTQ people of color are more likely to live in poverty than white people, and have statistically higher poverty rates than their same-race cisgender heterosexual counterparts. 

 

This should not be a huge bombshell. LGBTQ people are born into all types of families, including those who are poor and we face the same socio-economic challenges that other people who share our sex, race, ethnicity, age, and disability. But we also take on a higher risk of being homeless when we are young, harassment and discrimination at school and at work, and, until recently, being denied the economic benefits of marriage.

 

So let's throw some confetti and take a true deep dive into the diversity within the LGBTQ community. It's the key to both breaking down the myth of equal access to affluence and to understanding where and how to combat LGBTQ poverty in the Black and Brown community. 

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 01  JAN K.A. Simpson

 

Happy New Year and welcome to bla@ck|out!

 

Each time a new online mag launches, the editors offer enthusiastic prose detailing what their mag will do that has not been done before while making sure that you know that they have developed something phenomenal only they can offer. 

This sure ain’t that.

 

I have not reinvented the editorial wheel and I am not disrupting the paradigm of online writing. And, in no way, do I alone have all the answers to being gay, being Black or being Cincinnati.  

 

What I do have is ambition and I am hard-headed...resulting in a lethal combination. I plan to capitalize on what I’ve learned after four years as a Korean linguist in the US Army, editing two publications coupled with my years of experience as a writer/journalist, self-published author, serial entrepreneur and community enthusiast. I want to use this mag to take you into the heart of gay Cincinnati, which includes Northern Kentucky, filtered through the Black experience; seeing how most of the time our experiences and thoughts are the same and laying witness to the few times thought our thoughts and experiences are drastically different. 

 

 

Why the name bl@ck|out? I want to highlight the part of the gay world that’s left out. The thoughts and experiences most aligned with those who have historically been marginalized. The poor. Those with disabilities. People of color. Black people. All the aforementioned fall into this group. In essence, their gay existence has almost been blacked out.  

 

As a journalist, it's always been my goal to write honestly, as though no one was looking. Write as if people who looked like me and felt the way that I do were controlling the narrative. So I set out to create my own story, narrate my own existence, in the hopes that those who read these articles will have an easier time conveying their own story in their own way while facilitating understanding and equity. 

 

The articles will boldly address controversial issues under specific topics including pop culture, gay phobias, health, entertainment, politics, sports, love, class, social status, AND racism. They will cause the reader to take an inventory of their own prejudices and judgments of others. They will also entertain while offering guidance and advice to anyone struggling with loving themselves, regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation.

 

A new article will drop every Wednesday. Until then, enjoy our first two articles about the top ten gay (and not so gay) things that set Cincinnati apart and how much our society is scared of confused by the N-word.  

 

This is bl@ck|out, where conscience and equity collide. Welcome to the debate.

 

 01  JAN K.A. Simpson

 

Can you move through the region and remember moments, know of places that, on the surface don’t seem gay, but are really entrenched with gay undertones? 

 

There are things that Cincinnati has produced and events which took place in the city, throughout its 232 year history that meet this criteria, leaving a finite mark. A Ferris wheel. A bridge between the North and the South. A tornado reeking havoc in the city's urban core. A streetcar ballot pass—or fail. The rising river banks. The cries of protesters during a civil unrest. 

 

We have patched together these 10 items of Cincinnati lore that sets this area apart and may, or may not, be just a little bit gay.

 17  JUN Kareem (K.A.) Simpson

Originally published June 16, 2020 on Soapbox Cincinnati 

June signifies Pride Month, a month-long celebration of being your true self. This year things are quite different. People around the world, including here in Cincinnati, have raised their voices — and in some cases their hands — to protest for racial equality and to champion the Black Lives Matter movement.

Let’s be clear: There is a difference between the two movements but it is no coincidence that, this year, Pride organizers are looking through the lens of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The pain being expressed in our society makes it difficult to celebrate your true self, but lest we forget, that the gay rights movement also began with protests — led by black members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Through activism, led by these black community members, folks were steered towards riots, marches, and protests to spark the modern gay rights movement. In doing so, they spurred awareness of the need for change.

Our society now is making the same cry for change by taking to the streets to protest and demand rights for the black community, so its nothing but appropriate to look back at the history of the gay rights movement and how their actions are connected to mobilizing the community during our current civil unrest.

A popular gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, The Stonewall Inn, is where it all began. A riot ensued after NYC police raided the bar. A usual occurrence at the time, but on this particular night, the night of June 28, 1969, the black gay men, lesbians, drag queens, and trans women could not take the insurgence any longer and led the fight against the brutality towards the gay community. The riots lasted for several days becoming what we now know as the Stonewall Uprising, and serving as the start for the modern gay rights movement.

Two members of the black gay community who led the way during the Stonewall Uprising were Marsha P. Johnson and Miss Major Griffn-Gracy, two Black trans women who became activists and community leaders for transgender rights, focusing on women of color.

The protests that we have seen over the last few weeks across the country are, more specifically due to the police involved killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor; calling for equal rights and protection of all Black people — but we should not shutter the fact that this call should include those who are trans, gay, lesbian, and gender non-conforming. Therefore, fighting for black rights means fighting for gay rights, especially since the two movements both use activism to bring about swift change for equality.

I would be remiss if I did not point out that trans women are disproportionately affected by violence. Twenty-six trans people were killed in 2019, and trans women face higher rates of homelessness and incarceration.

Yes, Pride will look different this year. Some cities are postponing Pride until a later date and other cities are cancelling official 2020 Pride celebrations entirely. But almost all Pride organizers, including those in Cincinnati, have addressed the current protests taking place, and recognizing the black activists who’ve lead the gay rights movement for equality.

Here in Cincinnati, Pride celebrations have traditionally been an event held to raise awareness and create a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community. With Cincinnati Pride being postponed until October, Cincinnati Black Pride is taking the lead in June, hosting its very first all-virtual Black Pride.

The multi-day virtual festival, kicking off on June 25th, will feature the 3rd Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival, an awards reception celebration of the rich legacy and promising futures of black LGBTQ+ families in Cincinnati, community town hall meetings, multi-generational music experiences, expressions of spoken word, and faith-based programming.

We can all agree that 2020 has grated down our souls to slivers of their former existence, challenging us to look within ourselves more than many of us have done in a very long time. We all can seek to make a real difference in advance of Pride 2021, beginning now by highlighting how you are changing the paradigm and moving the needle towards equality. For all.

 

 01  JUL K.A. Simpson

I want to talk to you about what happened to you that day back in the early 1980's. You were just in elementary school and you were driving to the grocery store with your mother in Covington, Kentucky. You did it all the time — but this time, out of nowhere, your heart was made to leap into your throat.  

 

You think there’s something wrong with you and wonder why a person would tell such a hateful thing to you. Tomorrow, Mom will come and talk to you, and she’ll tell you that you’re perfectly fine. You’ve got the heart of gold. Then she’s going to ask how that made me feel.  

 

Tell her the truth: Yeah, you’re pissed. You are only a seven year old child, but already have to deal with the ugly face of racism and bigotry. 

 

She will tell you life will be harder for you because of the color of your skin, but it's not going to sit well with you. And when you give it some thought, you’ll realize it wasn’t the first time something like this has happened. 

 

The racism has always been there. 

 

Remember when Mom had to catch the bus everyday to get you to day care and then 

went on to work? She started life at a disadvantage; a single Black mother from Newport, KY. Her cards were stacked against her, but she persevered and helped you to do so too. She will go on to push you to achieve your dreams with comparative ease and she will say that you will reach your own dreams. 

 

You don’t think it’s possible. But that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

 

Remember the other day, Oprah Winfrey was talking about a book called Beloved? Read it — and start telling the universe about the mystery behind the murder.

 

There will be travel, both physically and mentally. If I tell you what they are now, you’ll never believe me. But trust the process and even the paradigm disruption that will happen in your life. You’ll make mistakes. Big ones. Small ones. Everything in between. And almost all of them come because of the love of a boy with lessons that are critical.

 

But there’s a divine part of this paradigm shift.

 

It started with misdirection. But I don’t want to tell you that, because I don’t want you to take it back. You need that experience in order to meet and amplify these incredible stories swirling around in your head, just waiting to be placed on paper.

Remember, you’re here for a reason. 

 

This whole life of yours will be un-fantastically phenomenal . There are no good or bad experiences—they’re all just part of one long progressive state of mind, and they will all contribute to your growth.


Your mom is going to recommend some books: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley. Read them both, along with Haley’s Roots and Queen, both brilliant suggestions.  

 

Ten years later, you’ll still read them regularly absorbing lessons and teachings, because you love the cause — the idea of someone taking the worst of a situation and transforming it into the best.

 

You’ll need to go to therapy. Its not something talked about, the pressure of living as an educated Black, gay male in a white society wears you down. There’s no way around that; you have trauma you don’t even know you have.

 

There will come a time when you realize cancel culture will give you time to catch your breath— a much needed thing for our society as a whole — to grow into your own. 

 

You have elements of Martin and Malcolm in you, along with dashes of James Baldwin and Alice Walker. But I don’t want to tell you that, because you might not be ready yet.

 

That feeling you have inside you, telling you that you’re destined for more than the side-street that you grew up on? That's what's going to drive you to succeed. You have the ability to transcend your circumstances in a very extraordinary way. So don’t worry about the people telling you that you can’t. (There’ll be plenty of them.)

 

Stay true to what you know is right and good. 

 

Yours Truly in Time,

Kareem

 

 30  OCT STAFF REPORT

In just a few short weeks, we have an opportunity to impact the trajectory of our country. 

 

We have all been inundated with carefully crafted concerns and fears about the upcoming election. Cincinnati Black Pride wants to ensure that, as a community, we are informed about what is at stake and how that influences how we vote and IF we vote. 

 

Come join us, Thursday, Oct 1 from 7pm-8pm for a virtual discussion with a panel of five community members, Julie Johnson , Kareem Simpson, Janiah Miller, Ariel Shaw and Tim'm West, sharing their truths on This Is Why I Vote.

 

Panel session will be moderated by local community leader, Ron Clemons.

 

There plans to be no party or candidate advocacy but there will be discussion about what will get community members to the polls and what may prevent or discourage non participation in the voting process.

 

Panelists will also go over how to fill out an Absentee Ballot and ways to return it to the Board of Elections to ensure your vote counts in addition to other key issues.

 

To RSVP or sign in Oct.1, please use this link:

 

https://www.dpvn.net/event-details/this-is-why-i-vote


 
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