All posts filed under: Articles

A Biblical Reflection on the Narrator of Invisible Man

Perhaps contradictory to what we have been conditioned to believe by a liberal minded media in the modern 21st century, much misalignment has been taught from an oversimplification of accountability and blame in regards to the plight of the black person at the turn of the 20th century. Fresh off the heels of slavery and the exploration of what it means to be black in a white America, the current that runs through the novel Invisible Man is one of rage and anger directed towards a cruel and indifferent society in this country, exemplified thru the persecution of Clifton and the disregard of our own narrator’s conscious and voice. That his protestation of the communist’s party’s plan to fuel the riots of Harlem is met with indifference and complete lack of understanding is a mere indication of his own ineffectiveness as a voice of clarity and reason in a society that doesn’t see race as an indication of morality. And yet, here is a man about to stumble on the stark realization that only he …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 6)

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 6)   His name is Drew and I’m convinced he’s a saint.   No more than 5”7’ and around 150 pounds, Drew is new like me to the City Mission, having stayed exactly one more night than I. Also like me he’s in a crisis, looking for a new beginning to life, tho for different reasons.   Drew tells me he’s here because he was addicted to meth and is trying to escape his old life. Having seen friends go crazy on the drug, he called the mission and was told they had a spot for him. 20 mintues after than phone call he was out the door and headed here.   He tells me he’s from Brunswick, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland tho I have no idea where that’s at. He was working at a metal factory, working a stamping machine, but is cryptic but his current situation. I gather from talking with him that he was living with his mom and then some friends …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 5)

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 5)   There’s a place called the City Mission in Cleveland that’s on my mind. I first heard about it on what locals call the street card, which is essentially a sheet of paper that list all of the resources for homeless people. I have no idea what the mission offers other than the card says it’s a 30 day shelter and that it’s located on 55th and Carnegie, which is about a 2 miles away from 2100 Lakeside, the shelter that I stayed at the night before. It’s not obvious at first that this is where I’m headed when I start my desperate walk this morning, nor that there will be a cot waiting for me to sleep on tonight. But I have to walk and leave the area I’m in. The night before I stole a guy named Jamaica’s hat, and now I’m afraid that guy and his friends want to kick my ass. This afternoon I went to Cosgrove, the local soup kitchen, …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 4)

I Never Missed Toledo Until I was Homeless (Part 4)   When I first get to 2100 Lakeside I’m shoved into a cafeteria and fed a shitty dinner that consists of beef steaks, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and of all things goldfish crackers. I enjoy the crackers the most. While eating I strike up a conversation with a guy I saw waiting for my caseworker over at Cosgrove. The man tells me he’s in the same predicament as I am. He’s from Cleveland but has nowhere to go but here. He’s waiting for tomorrow morning to Talk to a guy named Terry. I tell him I’m waiting for the same thing. He assures me everything will be alright. The guy says he’s been here before and explains that once dinner is over we wait for our beds and then are assigned mats. I take his word for it and finish my meal. Outside I bum a smoke off another bum and sit by myself at a picnic table, stressed and anxious, well aware that I …

I Never Missed Toledo Until I Was Homeless (Part 2)

I step off the bus in front of Jack’s Casino, lost somewhere in the business district of Cleveland, Ohio. The black man nods to me as I step off the bus, a little unsure of where I’m at. In my wallet is 27 cents, and an ID that says I’m from Toledo. To where I’m going I have no idea, tho how I got here I know too well.   The voices tell every year to leave, and every year I oblige. It’s everything I want and everything I hate. An adventure of a lifetime, a trip into the jungle without a knife. And here I am walking down corridors of blinking lights and sounds of bleeps and boops, hell if there is one. Some people have fun here tho.   Back in Toledo the casino I went to had free pop. I preferred mixing coke zero with a splash of lemonade, a trick my father taught me. When I was really bored I’d walk around the circular paths of that casino staring at movie …

i never missed toledo until i was homeless

Sitting in the day room at 6:30, my head still abuzz from the night fog that is an unfinished night’s sleep. Men gather for the smoke, the ritual that keeps all of us going, and eventually is our end.   We sit in gazes while some men roll cigarets. Others play cards, while a white dude with a goatee and shaved head folds laundry.   One guy who looks like a cutout from Goodfellas shuffles cards with a loud crunch, his face intent. I invite myself into a game, hoping to play spades. He says he’s waiting to play poker then gives me the silent treatment. I can take a hint.   My stomach growls a bit and I daydream about breakfast. During the week we have something hot, my favorite being eggs with sausage and seasoned potatoes. Yesterday was Saturday tho and we had two danishes: I had cheese and strawberry.   I don’t know what we have on Sundays, but I know I won’t bitch. My first night in Cleveland I stole a …

The First Annual Glass City Black Comix Fest

The day started stressful and early. I woke up at 4 am and tired and worried about the ever present concern of weight loss, never content despite the fact that I had contained my weight for 2 months. And yet I knew something was ahead of me. Saturday usually is one of my busiest days, my mornings occupied my daily walk and cup of coffee. By 9:45 I hit the streets to downtown Toledo where I get free bread from a local food pantry and grab a warm meal, this time consisting of some delicious and hot vegetable soup with a side of kibasa and saur kraut. But this is window dressing. The real highlight of the day was the chance to attend the Toledo Library’s first annual Glass City Black Comix Art Fest,  a free event open to the public.   The event was held in a small pocket of Toledo’s fine main library, held in the Huntington Center Room which is hid underneath a stair case and out of the public’s eye. It’s …