From Giovanni slams Blackwell
in the Cinci Enquirer:

If Ken Blackwell does manage to become Ohio?s governor, don?t look for Nikki Giovanni to be appointed the state?s poet laureate.

Giovanni, a native Cincinnatian, read an original poem entitled ?I am Cincinnati,? a paean to all that is good and great about the Queen City, like three-way chili and Spring Grove Cemetery. She read her poem during re-opening ceremonies to the new Fountain Square Saturday.

But along with her nostalgic references, Giovanni remained true to her reputation of being an outspoken activist.

?I am not a son of a bitch like Kenny Blackwell,? Giovanni said near the end of the poem.

?I will not use the color of my skin to cover the hatred in my heart. I am not a political whore jumping from bed to bed to see who will stroke my knee.?

Giovanni said Cincinnati instead is Mayor Mark Mallory, ?talking to everyone, walking with everyone, listening to everyone, leading by consensus, not fear.?

The acerbic statements about Cincinnati native, Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell drew a collective gasp from the crowd. Then applause and some “amens.”

Blackwell campaign spokesman Carlo LoParo said Giovanni?s remarks showed ?a total lack of class.?

?People are going to disagree in politics; we understand that. But there is something to be said for civility,? LoParo said. ?She is utterly without class.?

Most of the officials at the event took the comments in stride.

Former Mayor Charlie Luken said the square should be a place to celebrate, mourn and, as Giovanni proved, serve as a chat room.

But not everyone in the crowd was amused by Giovanni?s political statements in the middle of the Fountain Square celebration.

?I think the event is not supposed to be a political forum,? said Jeff Cornwell, 28, Hamilton.

Enquirer reporter Feoshia Henderson contributed.

I AM CINCINNATI

Former Cincinnati resident Nikki Giovanni read an original poem at the reopening of Fountain Square Saturday. The following is an excerpt from a recording made at the ceremony.

I am Cincinnati
I ran from the whips and the dogs
Across the frozen pond
I made my home in the West End
When the Civil War came I dug the trenches
Showing the South
Free men live here
Who are unwilling to yield
I kept the city safe
I am the Seven Hills
I am the neighborhoods
Community Centers
Shopping malls
Churches
Libraries
I am the Bengals
The Reds
The incomparable Underground Railroad Museum
I am history
I am Findlay Street market
I am the best 3-way chili in the world
I am Montgomery ribs
I am the University of Cincinnati
I am Xavier
I am Sister Jean Patrice Harrington bringing Mount St. Joseph into the 21st century
I am Eden Park and the Conservatory of Music
I am Symphony Hall and the oldest Opera company and one of the world?s greatest teaching zoos
I am Spring Grove Cemetery
My dead rest in beauty and peace
I am Marian Spencer
I have watched segregation reign and have built a bridge between that island and the city
I have watched policemen
Shoot young black men in the back
And have watched my community respond, a people who once saved this city

I am the Cincinnati Western and Southern Tennis Championships though I am played in Mason
..
I am not a son of a bitch like Kenny Blackwell
?
I will not use the color of my skin to cover the hatred in my heart
I am not a political whore jumping from bed to bed to see who will stroke my knee
I am Mark Mallory
Talking to everyone
Walking with everyone
Listening to everyone
Leading by consensus not fear
I am Cincinnati
I slaughter hogs and make soap
I am the biggest Oktoberfest outside Munich Germany
Though I have been boycotted
I am not shirking my responsibilities to the next generation
I am finding a way to be great again
I am the lady in the fountain
Let my waters cleanse and refresh you
Let my waters heal
Together we can still save this city.

Former Cincinnati resident Nikki Giovanni read an original poem at the reopening of Fountain Square Saturday. The following is an excerpt from a recording:
I am Cincinnati
I ran from the whips and the dogs
Across the frozen pond
I made my home in the West End
When the Civil War came I dug the trenches
Showing the South
Free men live here
Who are unwilling to yield
I kept the city safe
I am the Seven Hills
I am the neighborhoods
Community Centers
Shopping malls
Churches
Libraries
I am the Bengals
The Reds
The incomparable Underground Railroad Museum
I am history
I am Findlay Street market
I am the best 3-way chili in the world
I am Montgomery ribs
I am the University of Cincinnati
I am Xavier
I am Sister Jean Patrice Harrington bringing Mount St. Joseph into the 21st century
I am Eden Park and the Conservatory of Music
I am Symphony Hall and the oldest Opera company and one of the world?s greatest teaching zoos
I am Spring Grove Cemetery
My dead rest in beauty and peace
I am Marian Spencer
I have watched segregation reign and have built a bridge between that island and the city
I have watched policemen
Shoot young black men in the back
And have watched my community respond, a people who once saved this city

I am the Cincinnati Western and Southern Tennis Championships though I am played in Mason
..
I am not a son of a bitch like Kenny Blackwell
?
I will not use the color of my skin to cover the hatred in my heart
I am not a political whore jumping from bed to bed to see who will stroke my knee
I am Mark Mallory
Talking to everyone
Walking with everyone
Listening to everyone
Leading by consensus not fear
I am Cincinnati
I slaughter hogs and make soap
I am the biggest Oktoberfest outside Munich Germany
Though I have been boycotted
I am not shirking my responsibilities to the next generation
I am finding a way to be great again
I am the lady in the fountain
Let my waters cleanse and refresh you
Let my waters heal
Together we can still save this city.

 
  • MARC PRATHER

    THAT WAS A WAKE UP CALL FOR CITY T THE TRUTH TOLD THRU EYES OF ONE OF ARE OWN.THE DAY WAS TO HONOR A NEW BEGINNING BUT LETS NOT FORGET WHAT GOT US TO THIS FALSE CHANGES OF HOPE FOR A CITY FEW WANT TO CALL HOME ANYMORE.

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