Sunday, November 2, 2014

In the current issue of Creative Loafing (Oct. 30-Nov. 5), is one of the most important and, in my opinion, most impactful stories I've ever written. It's the cover story and is titled, "Black-ish: An introspective look at why the African-American cultural scene struggles to thrive in Charlotte," and you can read it by clicking here. Since the story was published a few days ago, I've received (and observed) lots of feedback in person, via emails, in the web version's comments section, and mostly, of course, on social media--Facebook and Twitter to be specific.

I don't have much to add here other than to say that if you haven't read the story yet, I hope that you will. It's 3,500 words, so it's a long read, but I think you will find it to be engaging. I know that many people aren't comfortable talking about issues dealing with race--at least not in public--but if we don't have those discussions then we won't understand each other, and we certainly won't make progress as a society. I've been pleased with the enlightened conversations that have been going on so far from readers of the story.

And as I referenced in the guest column I wrote for Creative Loafing, which was published a week earlier and served as a bit of a preview to the feature story (click here to read the column; it offers a great narrative of Charlotte's Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), I had been reluctant to write about race throughout my career as a journalist. But I realized that this was a story I needed to tell: how social segregation and lack of ownership are stifling Charlotte's African-American cultural scene--from young professionals to business owners--and the impacts that has on the city as a whole.

I believe you'll realize that this story is about much more than race. It's about how we relate to each other as human beings, and whether we are living up to the ideals we profess.


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