An Ultimatum for Karamu
Mark 3:25: If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
If Karamu House's board of directors does not do the proper thing — that is, intervene, ditching Gregory Ashe and retaining Terrence Spivey — it will be a nail in the coffin for Karamu ["Dark Days for the Black Arts," December 14, 2011]. Plain and simple. If Ashe stays, only his ego wins. Cleveland loses again. Big time.
The Spivey Difference
I'd like to add my voice to the choir of praise for Terrence Spivey. He understands that Karamu's true value is the theater. The plays that grace Karamu's stage are culturally resonant in a community that needs to hear these stories. Without the performing arts, Karamu is just a day-care center with a bank machine.
A Poet Who Knows It
If there isn't an immediate and swift removal of Greg Ashe, we will witness the downfall of one of the most prestigious black arts facilities of our time. I am a pretty well known spoken-word artist and know Spivey personally. He is Karamu! We made an attempt to bring poetry back to the theater where it belongs. The reason it was not successful was a direct result of Greg Ashe. Quite frankly, the man has no business being involved in the business of black arts ...
V107.3 was a refreshing alternative to the run-of-the-mill voice-tracked national crap that all the other FM stations have converted to — formats that molest the intelligence and creative passion that we Clevelanders have ["V107.3 to Return to Snooze Music Format," at the Scene & Heard blog]. My heart goes out to Ravenna and Rocco and the voices that kept our interest and our hopes alive in this nuclear winter of FM radio.
Everybody Else Sucks Too
Take comfort, Cleveland. Even in the entertainment capital of the world — Los Angeles — radio sucks mightily. I count myself lucky to have experienced the glory days of Cleveland radio in the '70s and '80s. WMMS and M105 had the best jocks and the best music; we will never see that again on terrestrial radio. Thank God for the internet.