I'm late in seeing this story, but right now ... I don't care ... (racism isn't just in Jena, people!)
The following is a story posted on KTBS.COM earlier this week, concerning a proposed jazz club on Springlake (Line Ave.) that was turned down by the City Council representatives in that area.
A Shreveport man wanting to open a jazz club on Line Avenue is now singing the blues. The city council muted his plans during Tuesday night's meeting.
Council members say hours of operation were a factor. But the proposed jazz club wouldn't have been open much later than the other establishments already there.
Quenn Echols had hoped to open a jazz and R&B club in the Springlake Mall on Line Avenue, but those plans were shot down when city council members voted against him.
The Zoning Board of Appeals had already approved Echols' plans, but Councilman Michael Long and those in his district didn't.
Long says right now, all the bars in the area where Echols wanted to build are connected to restaurants, but according to some of the e-mails council received, this issue wasn't just about bars.
"Let's face it, yes, there was racial overtones in this situation. There's no doubt about it," Long said.
So for now, Echols is trying to come up with a plan b for his R&B club since city leaders have decided Line Avenue and jazz just don't don't mix.
Councilmember Joyce Bowman was the only one who voted in favor of Echols' plans.
The location for the proposed jazz and R&B spot was that of the former Sea Grill and right near Tony's Liquor and Chianti's. Yet THIS proposal for the same kind of business was turned down ... and we know why... (view the entire story HERE).
I know Mr. Echols personally and have been following this process from initial concept to its most recent demise, and it sickens me that people can kill something that would FINALLY bring a cultural alternative to KoKoPellis (away from the madness of Downtown Shreveport) -- all because of the skin color of the business patrons.
I remember watching the first Council meeting, where Mr. Echols fought for the club over a month ago, on the Shreveport Channel (or whatever it's called now) and I heard Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover and other Black council members give Mr. Echols a raving introduction ...
Then, minutes later, the "opposition" stood up (with their ill-informed selves) and basically claimed that the club would cater to thugs and drunks that would attempt to molest the children/teens that went to the dance academy (which shared a parking lot with the proposed location).
One of the women claimed that the proposed club would be open from 6 a.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. and the drunks would be mingling with the kiddies. Guess no one told her clubs don't stay open for 22 hours. And what kind of dance school keeps little girls out until 7 p.m.?
My first thought was why would a dance academy be open late enough to overlap with people attending happy hour and concert events, but I digress.
Forget the fact that the "hood" is within walking distance from this area ... It's basically IN Cedar Grove. (WE can't set up shop in our own AREA???)
Forget the fact that there are already SEVERAL businesses in the same area that sell alcohol before the sun sets and cater to "drinkers" and those who live in the neighborhood. (Tony's, Chianti's and a little further down, Superior Grill).
And forget the fact that most child molesters/predators are not even Black (okay so maybe I don't have research on that but how many Black people have been busted on To Catch A Predator or at Columbia Park?).
I was looking forward to having a place to go where I could just lounge with my friends and not worry about foolishness. I was excited about not having to deal with the downtown traffic, crowds and casino goers. I was elated to welcome some CULTURE to this barren city.
But no -- racism strikes again. Even the Mayor's blessing wasn't enough to keep a Black man from going down.
So thank you Racist White Shreveport for robbing us of what could've been an excellent alternative and musical haven.
Guess tolerance and evolution aren't on the menu where you eat, but go ahead and have another pitcher of beer ... and don't trip over your sheet on the way back to your rebel-flag-adorned SUV as you head home to your double-wide trailer.
See, Black people can stereotype too.