Monday, October 16, 2006

Fountain Square Opens To The Public

Saturday evening I trudged down to the heart of downtown to take experience the events that were planned for Fountain Square's re-opening celebrations. The music groups that I took in were great! Taileb Kwalib and High Tech energized the crowd, as did Los Lobos and OK Go. The fireworks that were set atop of the Fifth Third parking garage were a welcomed surprise to cap off the evening.

The events started at noon and part of me wish I would have made it to see Nikki Giovonni's reading of her poem "I Am Cincinnati". Here are excerpts for her reading:


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 dogsAcross the frozen pond
I made my home in the West EndWhen the Civil War came
I dug the trenchesShowing the SouthFree men live here

Who are unwilling to yield
I kept the city safeI am the Seven Hills

I am the neighborhoods
Community Centers
Shopping malls
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
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.

Do you think Ms. Giovonni and Mr. Blackwell crossed paths early in their careers here in Cincinnati?

1 comment:

B said...

Seems to me she's heard some of the same rumors about Kenny B that I've heard.