WHAT LEXINGTON NEEDS, by Nancy Seale
photo by M. Watt
March 1994 Ace
When I was in kindergarten, I had a girlfriend who was black. We used to brush each other’s hair. One day my teacher, Mrs. Gillespie, called my mom and told her that she should be notified about something: I was fraternizing with a black girl. Oh, God, how terrible!
Then I moved to L.A. Again my best girlfriend was black, and i had a black neighbor – no big deal. But then I returned to Kentucky. Living in Lexington, I have noticed several incidents that have truly bothered me. The one that comes to mind first is the reason I am writing this.
Tonight I went to Spirits with some friends As we were leaving, we were kidding around, and I began pushing one of them to move faster. Unbeknownst to me, I was pushing my white male friend into a black man. This black man proceeded to turn around and slam-blast my friend. It became so vicious that even his friends had to burst in to calm him down. I grabbed the black man’s face and tried to get his attention. I said to him “I did it, I’m sorry. I was just playing.” Somehow or another, he let it pass, but I swear to God I will never forget the violence and hostility I saw in this man, simply because he was annoyed with a push in a bar. My friend left, and I sat down and cried. How in the world are we ever going to have peace in this world if we cannot get along??
For such a small place, Lexington has developed a huge tension between races. This was brought home tome the night I attended “Soul Fest ’93” at Masterson Station Park. All of my life I have enjoyed “black” music – I grew up on “Soul Train!” but I didn’t realize “Soul Fest ’93” was a black-only event. I had heard about it on one of my favorite radio stations, U-102, and was very excited that Lexington was hosting such an event – until I arrived there. With all of my experiences with different cultures and races, I have never before felt the presence of bigotry. Now i know how the black people have felt for so long. I was clearly apparent that I was not welcome.
I don’t understand why we can’t drop our silly egos and try to respect each other. Alla round the world there is war. But what we in America are forgetting is that we are at war also. Just watch the news or peek into our inner cities. The Crips against the Bloods? Come on, they’re the same people! At one point, I thought it would be a good idea if Clinton could assign the military to our inner cities. I believer they would qualify as war zones. Guns, violence, fatherless pregnancies, separation…what are we doing? I don’t understand why we can’t put aside our sill egos and make an attempt to accept the beauty that’s in us all.
Nancy Seale is the owner of Vanities.
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