"WHERE WERE THE POLITICIANS?"

Across the street from the Cleveland Arms apartment complex on Jacksonville’s Northside, at a corner shop called Li’l Albert Food Store, there was a protest event Monday evening in the wake of the police-involved shooting of Devanta Jones. Every prominent media outlet in Jacksonville was there – WJXT, First Coast News, Action News, and the Florida Times-Union. The protesters demanded answers – not just for the immediate incident (though that definitely was a primary motivator) but for larger, long-standing problems that have sabotaged the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

I spoke with Diallo Sekou of The Kemetic Empire, a black empowerment group that was central to bringing the protest together, who told me that incidents like the shooting of Devanta Jones were not “isolated” but “generational and systemic.”

Sekou and The Kemetic Empire have been at the forefront of the reactions to recent police-involved …More

Other recent posts

IMAGINARY BLACK LIVES MATTER

Al Letson isn’t letting anyone off the hook.

If that’s not clear in the buildup to John Coffey Refuses to Save the World, it becomes abundantly so when these imaginary characters get real.

“Black lives matter and so do imaginary black lives,” Letson says after opening night of his play’s first-ever staging, for The 5 & Dime, A Theatre Company.

The setup appears simple enough but also incredibly demanding of a talented cast — take fictional characters we know and know too well, then trap them in a room together. They are John Coffey of The Green Mile, the god of Bruce Almighty, Mother Abigail of The Stand, and Bagger of The Legend of Bagger Vance.

You might call them the “League of Extraordinary Black Stereotypes.”

Here, as they’ve been called in the past by Spike Lee and others, they’re “Magical Negroes.”

Playwright Letson and director Michelle Simkulet utilize them to far more potent …More

Other recent posts

'LUCY' STILL LOVABLE

LIVING UP TO OBSCENE HYPE

FROM MONTREAL TO HAVANA

Sub Cultured is the latest mobile vendor to open a permanent location. Situated in a quaint, unassuming building off Mayport Road in Atlantic Beach, Sub Cultured has been open for six months.

Starting as a mobile stand specializing in cheesesteaks and sausages, and parked in front of a home improvement store, the eatery serves an assortment of freshly made sandwiches, soups and salads. Nothing on the menu rings up at more than $9, and Cinotti's Bakery, just up Penman Road in Jax Beach, supplies the sub rolls.

The menu lays claim to the best Philly cheesesteak in town ($8.49). While that sandwich is quite good, I found several sandwiches and salads on the menu to be far more impressive — like the popular Miami Cuban ($8.99), with the traditional roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles. Sub Cultured's version is enhanced by slight twist: the addition of capicola and mostaza aioli – a blend of yellow mustard and mayo with a hint of garlic, improving the standard Cuban with …More

Other recent posts

BREWING UP A GOOD TIME

A FRESH DOSE OF FUNK

SOUTHERN STYLE SCHOOLING

A CULINARY ADVENTURE AWAITS

Not Feeling It

Q: Touch screen phones don't work very well for me. When I touch the screen of a smartphone it often doesn't recognize that I've touched it. The strange thing is my mom has the same problem with touchscreens. We've always figured it had something to do with our circulation or something, but neither of us has cold or clammy hands. So my question is two part. First, what's up with that? Why don't touch screens like me? And second, I'm getting to the point where I need to upgrade my old phone which has a fold-out keyboard. Can you recommend a new phone that has a keyboard?

A: That does seem kind of unusual. I did a little Googling though, and you're not alone in your complaint. Some people refer to it as 'zombie fingers'. But don't worry, you're probably not about to develop a taste for brains.

The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of touchscreens - resistive and capacitive. Resistive screens are pressure sensitive. They are composed of two layers, and when …More

Other recent posts

Go Big or Go Home?

Please Don't Stop The Music

Cleanin' Out My Closet

Wrap It Up

Christmas is next week; so is Kwanzaa. As a rule, I avoid participating in major holidays (I’m counting the days until National Grilled Cheese Day, though). But that doesn’t mean I don’t imagine the presents I would give. Here, then, are some gifts I would hand out to some well-known locals and businesses. I mean, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Mayor Alvin Brown: I can’t decide which he needs more, a thesaurus or a sense of humor

 

Mrs. Mayor Alvin Brown: what does one get an invisible woman?

 

Fred Durst: a trip in a time machine back to 1999 when anyone actually cared about Limp Bizkit

 

Blood Alliance: as much A-negative blood as they need so they can stop stalking me 

 

Capt. Sorensen of Firehouse Subs: a restraining order against me 

 

Public Defender Matt Shirk: a good divorce attorney, preferably one who has never worked at Whisky River and doesn't like to take showers

 

Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert: a one-way …More

Other recent posts

Shopping Small = Bigger Impact

Be a Star

Thanks a Million

I CAN’T BREATHE: WEEK 16, JAGS VS. TITANS

After Brent Martineau and Dan Hicken tweeted out the picture of Cecil Shorts and the Jags wide receivers in the I Can’t Breathe shirt, I checked Hicken’s Twitter feed, where the responses were full of nothing but condemnation and venom.

What else would be there? Hicken is right now the ultimate sports host in the region; he knows he can say whatever he wants and he won’t lose his audience. Part of that is that he connects with the local sports fan. And, quite frankly, the local sports fan doesn’t like black athletes very much. They bury them sooner or later, every time.

Byron Leftwich and Dave Garrard got The Treatment. Jimmy Smith and Reggie Williams and Rashean Mathis, too. Not at first. But after a while. And those cats kept it non-political. Not our Jags WRs.

They aren’t the first athletes this week to take a stand on police brutality. But they are the ones who did it here, in a city where the sheriff and the mayor came together just last …More

Other recent posts

ONE SPARK 101

The city will soon ignite again. Many remember last April, the inaugural One Spark festival, when downtown was transformed into a creator’s utopia.

One Spark is a five-day, crowd-funded festival that serves as a platform for creators to exhibit their ideas. The projects will be exposed to more than 100,000 people with the idea of connecting creators to the resources they need to make their ideas a reality.

People will display projects from the five categories: art, music, science, technology and newly added, innovation. They will have the chance to win from $310,000 of crowd funds and awards.

Last year the top winner was Rethreaded, a creative company with the mission to break the cycle of the sex trade. The project brought home more than $6,000 in crowd-funds.

The founder of Rethreaded, Kristen Keen, said that One Spark was a game changer and not only because of the winnings.

“It put us on the map,” Keen said, ”most people in Jacksonville heard …More

Other recent posts

CONNECTING JACKSONVILLE

STAYING ON GUARD

STAYING POSITIVE

Tricky Bullets

T ricky bullets beget tricky problems, death-wise, legal-wise and otherwise. The yearly appearance of ammunition new and strange reminds me of the kaleidoscopically colorful fishing lures that change constantly on the merchandise hooks at Walmart. They're designed to catch anglers, not fish.

The new bullet on the block this year is a dazzler. The Multiple Impact™ Bullet (MI™ Bullet) is made by Advanced Ballistic Concepts. When fired, the slug separates into three pieces tethered by cords. The array spins like a propeller and upon impact saws a salad-bowl-sized slice out of the bad guy.

The advertising emphasizes that, because of the array's 14-inch spread, even dithery amateurs (your name goes here) can't miss. The photos show targets zapped impressively at 25 feet. You might infer that, with such ammo, you can shoot attackers from farther away!

Dream on.

When you fire in self-defense, you have two problems: staying alive and staying out of prison. Behind the attacker …More

Other recent posts

Stand Your Wallet

Open Season