Regular reporting and commentary on the interplay of race, class and power in the civic, business and cultural spaces of NEO from the inner rings of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Primary interests: Cleveland/NEOhio regional public affairs; African American politics, commerce, culture and society; public education; national and international affairs; Cavaliers∫Browns.
Friday, June 01, 2012
Obama, Opus and Ooops, I shouldn't have done that!
Yesterday was an
exciting day here in Cleveburg. To begin with, we spent several hours at the
White House African American Policy Forum held today on the main campus of the Cleveland
Public Library. Several high-ranking officials of the Obama administration
participated, and the keynote speaker was Cleveland’s own Don Graves Jr.,
executive director of the President’s Jobs Council.
We will be reporting
more fully on this event but after it ended about 3 PM, we set about working to
honor, however belatedly, our promise last week to report on the Cleveland
We completed Part I of
our two-part focus on the organization but we fear it to be perhaps a little
over the top. So we will sleep on it, revise as necessary and publish it by 3PM today.
After completing our
draft, we headed out to Opus, a place we noted last week. We thoroughly enjoyed
ourselves there last Wednesday, taking in the strains of the Kevin Muhammad-Lafayette
Carthon-Robert Hubbard Trio. We didn’t arrive until the final set but the way
they cooked on "Green Onions", the evening’s final tune, had the bartenders ready
to call the Shaker Heights Fire Department to report the roof on fire.
We were eager to
return, this time with the wife, in anticipation of more live music. But of
course we were crossed up by the holiday week, because yesterday was Thursday,
not Wednesday. The recorded music was wonderful, however, with such fabulous
musicians as Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye and Isaac Hayes
coming through the speakers.
As we enjoyed the
food, the music and the general ambience, hands-on owner Brian Gresham was busy laying down a
dance floor in the front half of the restaurant. It turns out that Thursday is Opus Salsa
Night! Kat Baum and Maeghen Kandrin from La Danse Cleveland were treated Opus patrons to a
basic salsa lesson. The missus and I became two of nine dance students
following some excellent instructions. Quick Quick Slow! Quick Quick Slow!
One of the best parts
of going out in impromptu fashion is running into old friends. There were just
enough of them at Opus to add an extra special feel to the place. We also made
some new acquaintances, including Anderson C. Hill II of Orlando, in town for
several public appearances related to the 15th anniversary of his
book, In Search of the Truth.
We haven’t read the
book yet but our short conversation with its author revealed Hill as a
forthright man with a first-person story to tell about the rise, fall and
rebirth of a big-time lawyer who allowed himself to be seduced by the twin
demons of greed and power. We understand there are at least a few Clevelanders mentioned in his tale of fall and redemption.
Hill will be in
Beachwood tomorrow, June 2, from 11AM until 1PM at Fairfield Inn
& Suites, 3750 Orange Place. From 3-5PM he will be at Lee
Road Baptist Church, 3970 Lee Road, in Cleveland’s Lee Harvard community.
Personally autographed copies of his book [[$14.95] will be available at each appearance.