Off-Color Approach

Letters published November 15, 2006

Reference to "chocolate" in bad taste: I read "New Black City" [November 8] today and am writing to let you know that as an African American resident of Euclid I am appalled.

Beginning with the title of the article and its accompanying front-cover photo: Is "New Black City" supposed to be a spin-off of New Jack City, a movie about crack dealers and blighted, drug-infested African American neighborhoods? I assume this was an oversight on your part.

Recently, the national media was highly critical of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's references to New Orleans as a "Chocolate City." Their take was that this reference would steer Anglo Americans and businesses away from New Orleans.

Your cover photo concerns me. Can you explain why an ominous young African-American male depicted in a threatening manner was used? Was the option of a photo of a nicely attired African American family considered? Even better: How about them pictured in front of their nicely kept home?

You chronicle many negative social and economic occurrences in the City of Euclid and timeline them with the arrival of more African American residents. What are you trying to say? The tone of your article plays into the fears many Anglo Americans associate with the arrival of African American neighbors and contributes to white flight.

If your intent was to aid the assimilation of more African Americans into Euclid or to bolster our cause, you failed miserably. You did not present African Americans in a favorable light. Or was that your intention?

Willie Brown

A black-and-white case: Is the author looking to incite a riot? African American culture against white culture? Know when to walk away and stop inciting hate.

I think the author is a wacko!

Nicholaus Saldutti

We're all in this together: All of us are racists and judgmental in some form or another, whether we would like to admit it or not. But my question is: When are we going to realize that as long as poverty and injustice exist on this planet, there will be no escaping the consequences? No matter how far you run to escape your environment, the environment will not escape you.

I also completely understand the need to leave an area and move for the betterment of your family, but that is not always the right answer. Sometimes we have to help change where we live now, even if that means individually taking someone under your wing and steering that person in the right direction, or getting to know your neighbors, for God's sake -- not judging one another and disconnecting ourselves.

How come it has to take a national disaster to occur in order for us to realize that we are all one?

Ebony McMichael

The Name Game
Nothing new about bait-and-switch:
This has been going on for a long time ["The Great Pretenders," November 1]. Fleetwood Mac had the same problem before Buckingham and Nicks joined. The Jackson Five couldn't use the name after leaving Motown. (The only reason Berry Gordy didn't put together a new Jackson Five was that he didn't think the fans would buy it.)

What's even worse are the deals that make money off the greatest hits of doo-wop CDs and don't pay the artists, due to legal machinations such as the contract they signed in 1956, which made no provision for CD sales.

As a musician myself, I've heard several times that singers, guitar players, drummers, etc., are a dime a dozen. Shut up and play.

Sad state of affairs, but that's the biz. It's the hardest job in the world, and nobody really does it for the money. But nobody likes being ripped off either.

Steve Pavey
Lakewood, Colorado

Here's the Beef
New owner begs to differ:
As the new owner of Cohen's Corned Beef since May and an advertiser in your magazine, I am a little disturbed that you printed such a negative response [Letters, November 1]. If you only got negative letters, then maybe I am in trouble; but if you got good and bad, and printed only the bad, then I am just upset.

I would imagine that James Thompson had his sandwich before May of this year, and I would invite him to come back in and try another one on me. I happen to believe that we do make some of the best corned beef in town; many of our current customers have stated so, and I am willing to do what I need to do to prove it. Of course, I cannot undue the damage your printing his letter has done, but I will try anyway.

Harlan Penn
Cohen's Corned Beef

Word on the Street
Don't badmouth good folk:
I feel this article is out of context ["Boyz in the Hood," October 25]. The term "fag" should have been left out, and biblical sayings are irrelevant. It upsets me as a black gay male to downtalk the gay community, as there are not a lot of bad gay people in this city.

Travis Jones

In our story "New Black City" (November 8), Jerry Corbran was identified as the founder of the Euclid Awareness Committee. Though he was a vocal and prominent supporter of the group, he was not actually the founder. Also, Brian Meister was incorrectly identified as the law director. He was the assistant law director.

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