Saturday, September 10, 2005

Black Square, White Square

This item in a Jewel Cardwell column caught my eye:

"Hats off to Akron's Highland Square neighborhood, which had the generosity of spirit to host a special Labor Day weekend salute for Fire Station No. 9.

"'It was our first block party,' Benita Gadsden said of the party that included neighbors from Dodge, Payne and Byers avenues."

This surprised me at first since I live about one neighborhood removed from Highland Square, I'm there a couple times a week and I frequent two Square-centric websites. Indeed, neither CPFA nor RubberBuzz mentions it.

The answer of course is that this is the "black" part of Highland Square. It's no secret that as you walk south from West Market you cross from young, artsy, predominantly white Highland Square to blue collar black Highland square. Generally the two don't mix, except in line at Walgreens (now that Starkle Markle has closed.)

It's no one's fault that the white twenty somethings running web portals didn't know about the party, any more than it's the fault of the party organizers didn't think of bringing in the broader Square community. It just is. That's life in America in the '00s.

In my experience it takes a singular personality to pierce the membranes that separate the white and black bubbles we live in. Not me; I'm Square White Guy incarnate. But we can only hope that someone of that description can come and bring some mix to the place. We would all be richer for it.