01 APR K.A. Simpson
When protesters in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky took to the streets following the modern-day lynching of George Floyd and the virtual eraser of Breonna Taylor, lifting their outcry for racial and social justice above the decrepit historic past systemic racism, thousands of people marched and held peaceful vigils around the region.
Though those outcres have softened, they are far from diminishing, affording the perfect opportunity to consider again their source; finding its origins in decades of bad policy which ubutted gaps in public health which all led to widespread financial insecurity and societal normalization of the denigration of black and brown faces. But to move forward and move the needle closure to equality, it is imperative that we unite across lines of race, creed, and political ideology.
At the turn of the 20th century, my great-grandmother, who was just a toddler then, accompanied her extended family from Tennessee to 6th and Saratoga, here in Newport, Kentucky. Upon arrival, my family was thwarted into a comprehensive tripartite system of oppression where African Americans were controlled by whites economically, politically, and socially.
Over a century later, racial inequalities still persist—though by some measures have softened. In a recent analysis conducted by Citigroup, since 2000, U.S. gross domestic product lost close to $20 Trillion as a result of discriminatory practices.
So when asked by my white colleagues why I work so hard, it's because I have always known that African Americans must work twice as hard to do half as well as my white neighbors.
When we heard George Floyd cry, “I can’t breathe,” while Derek Chauvin choked the life out of him, we also heard the gasps of an entire race of people who have been oppressed. I heard my great-grandmother. I heard my mother. And I heard myself.
Many have cited Floyd’s call for help the cause for the many protests around the country, and the world, but when you take into account the intersecting injustices brought on because of race, gender and sexual orientation, the true cause is our own country's propensity to encourage discrimination.
Whatever sparks lit the riots last year then, it was generations of public policy which allowed that spark to catch fire. Only a conscientious effort to address inequality by reconstructing our common life will prevent the flames from erupting again.
But that's where change comes in.
We've elected a Black President….change.
We swore in our nation's 1st Black vice president, who is a woman….change.
Though I talk of change, I would be remiss if I did not point out that there is a lot of change that still needs to happen.
Number of or men and boys murdered by the hands of police officers….this needs to change
Remember how loud and hard we chanted that Black Lives Matter in 2020….this need the need for this needs to change.
Did you see the number of our fellow americans voted for our current president in 2016 AND AGAIN 2020 knowing what kind of a mess he was AND THEN tried to overthrow the government when things didn't turn out their way...that sense of entitlement needs to change.
But by reading BlackOut Cincinnati, you have all chosen to be a part of an association where your mutual passion for the advancement of those who have traditionally been marginalized in our society can live and breathe. Your passion and dedication helps to unite and the energy that you create is what allows our community to thrive.
My nana passed away in the early 80's and my grand-mother passed away in 2010, but if they could see that their great grandson, their grandson was able to write and publish this online magazine for the LGBTQ+ community of color here in Greater Cincinnati, they would say, now that's change.
03 FEB Staff Report
Cincinnati Black Pride, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that produces the annual Cincy Black Pride Events, proudly announces its newest executive appointment, current board member K.A. Simpson to President of the organization. His role took effect January 2021.
Previously a member of the board, Simpson will now steer the direction of CBP and forthcoming planned community activities and civic engagement alongside its recently formed executive committee. Together they will be meeting on a monthly basis to execute the organization’s diversity initiatives and planned community engagement.
“It’s one of the most important times for our community and our allies to come together and to continue to move the needle towards social equality,” said new Board President K.A. Simpson. “As a thriving community across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, we value inclusiveness and diversity. I’m so humbled to have been appointed by the board to this position to lead Cincinnati Black Pride and our community efforts forward into the future.”
K.A. is an accomplished author, small business owner and lover of everything creative. He is currently also the Manager of Operations for Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, where he is
responsible for managing the reporting oversight of several agency programs.
Cincinnati Black Pride founder and current board member, Tim'm West said: “K.A. has lent a voice for our queer Black community for years and is an exceptional leader. I could not be more proud to pass the baton to him and. I have no doubt he will lead with inclusiveness and passion for our entire community.”
Other new board appointees include:
Jennifer Barnes Balenciaga, Vice-President
Joel Lam, Secretary
Ron Clemons, Art & Culture Chair
Phil Showers, Fundraising/Marketing Chair
DJ Rah D., Member-at-Large
About Cincinnati Black Pride
Cincinnati (CBP), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, organized in 2018. Since then, CBP has started to build a rich history as an active voice for the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky LGBTQ+ community. Today, CBP continues to produce nationally-recognized Cincinnati Black Pride programming every June. CBP also organizes a number of events throughout the year with their nonprofit, philanthropic, community, and corporate partners.