Saturday, February 23, 2013

Eric Brewer launches online newspaper

Former East Cleveland mayor Eric Brewer has just announced the debut of his online newspaper, The Cleveland Challenger.

Brewer, who is both editor and publisher, said in an email circulated today, that the first issue carries an assortment of fifteen pieces, including articles dealing with the Cleveland police chase that resulted in the homicides of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams last November; alleged bias on the part of Cleveland Heights officials in targeting a nightclub that catered to black patrons in the tony Cedar-Fairmount area; and assorted other pieces. 

An initial perusal of the paper's website left the impression that almost all of the stories contain reports or allegations of wrongdoing by the high and mighty, including Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Mandel Jewish Community Center.

The Challenger carries with it a price of $10 for a monthly subscription. Weekly updates are promised.
Brewer served one term as East Cleveland mayor from 2006-2009. He was soundly defeated in his re-election bid. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Black Vines

Special Bonus for Real Deal followers* [this post will not be emailed!]:

End your work week and begin your weekend with Black Vines, a free wine tasting event tonight between 5:30 and 10PM in one of Cleveland’s up and coming neighborhoods. No, not Detroit Shoreway; not Ohio City. CENTRAL.

Yes, that’s right! Cleveland’s Central neighborhood has been undergoing a quiet transformation for at least a decade, thanks in large measure to the quiet but effective leadership of Burten Bell Carr Development Corporation.

Come get a taste and an eyeful tonight at Bridgeport Café, 7201 Kinsman Road. See the flier below.

I know, you didn’t even know there were African wines.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nonprofit Thursday: Black Angels, History, Soul Food and Jazz, Ideals and Adventure

Off-Broadway Stage Play "Black Angels Over Tuskegee" To Touch Down in Shaker

A “tough to resist”[1] off-Broadway production of Black Angels Over Tuskegee comes to Cleveland next month as a fundraising vehicle to support the plans of local supporters to re-open the former Aviation High School as a charter school, rechristened as the Davis Aerospace and Maritime Academy. The school is to be named after acclaimed General Benjamin O. Davis Jr., who had a short and tumultuous turn as Cleveland Safety Director during the Carl Stokes administration.

The play will be presented Friday, March 8 on the University School’s Shaker campus, located on Brantley Road. It is part of a celebration that will feature a salute to the area’s dwindling ranks of Tuskegee Airmen. There will also be a silent auction featuring an aviation-themed cocktail hour.

Supporters of the planned charter school envision the Davis Academy providing Greater Cleveland youth with a real world education that focuses science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a way that resurrects and honors the legendary character and spirit of the Tuskegee Airmen.   “Our vision for this Academy is to empower and enlightening the student by resurrecting and honoring the character and spirit of the Tuskegee Airmen. We want to instill that same passion and perseverance in our area youth and provide a platform for their STEM success”, says supporter David Ferguson. 

The stage production of Black Angels is currently enjoying three-year run in New York City; the Cleveland presentation is one of several national stops planned for 2013.  The production comprises an array of talented performers called The Black Gents, an all-male ensemble that aims to resurrect, redefine, and restore positive images of African American men. The cast includes Playwright/Director Layon Gray and Cleveland’s own Ananias Dixon.

The production’s laurels include the 2009 NAACP Award for Best Ensemble and the 2009 Hollywood Artistic Director Achievement Award for Best Play. The Cleveland show features the original Broadway cast under the direction of playwright Gray.

To purchase tickets or to get further information about Davis Aerospace Academy, visit or call 216.579-9487.

Historic civil rights figure to share memories in Oakwood Feb. 27
Clarence Bozeman
Clarence Bozeman was a 21-year old college student when a professor’s recommendation led him to become Martin King’s driver a few months after the Montgomery Bus Boycott ended in December 1957. His role enabled him to have a special vantage for many civil rights conversations, strategy sessions, and momentous events.

King himself had just turned 29 the month after the Supreme Court ruled that public transit must be integrated.

Mr. Bozeman, now 75 and a retired educator living in Maple Heights, will share memories and memorabilia on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at a 7:30PM program at Mt. Zion Church of Oakwood Village. The Mt. Zion and Twinsburg HS choirs will also participate as a part of this Black History Month event.

For more event information, call 440.232.2645.

For a profile of Mr. Bozeman with videos, visit here.

Soul Food and Jazz on tap for Case BLSA
All are welcome as the Case Western Reserve Black Law Students Association hosts Black Ties (formerly known as Soul Food and Jazz) on Friday, March 1 from 7-10PM at Tavo Martini Loft & Restaurant, 815 Superior Ave, at Rockwell Ave.

Black Ties/Soul Food and Jazz is BLSA's annual legal networking event. This year several Case Law alumni will be recognized for their contributions to the legal community. The event will feature the Case Jazz Ensemble with legendary jazz saxophonist Phil Woods, as well as an African Dance Troupe. Contact Davreen Dixon at for more information.

Ideals and Adventure beckon in one year service program
ESP Volunteers 2007

Episcopal Service Corps is a network of over 20 service programs across the country, from Hawaii to New York.  ESC provides opportunities for young adults of various backgrounds to spend a year in service working for social justice, deepening spiritual awareness, developing leadership skills, and learning to live simply in community.  

Cleveland, along with other national sites, is seeking applications for the one year program from recent college graduates between the ages of 21 and 30 who are interested in community service.

For an application or to learn more about the program and each site, visit or write

[1] New York Times

News Bulletin: Richmond Hts. mayor says he's going for 7th term

We like to let our reporting speak for itself but the timing is too sweet for us not to report on a development that occurred within hours of yesterday’s post on this year’s race for mayor of Richmond Heights.

It seems that Mayor Daniel Ursu couldn’t wait to get to the office today and send a succinct interoffice memo to city council and his cabinet that reads in full: “Since some of you have asked and it’s the time of year when some of you might be wondering, “yes” I do plan to run this November for re-election as Mayor.”

We especially liked his sign-off: “Yours in Civics.”

We look forward to this race. Perhaps the next time he sees us he will actually speak, instead of scurrying into City Hall and locking the door as he did on one unforgettable occasion.