Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Faces of Over-the-Rhine

Karla Davis

        Karla Davis has lived in Over-the-Rhine, off and on, for most of her 40-some years. She was living there a year ago. She was still there during last summer’s violence.

        One night last summer ‘‘about 2:30, 3 in the morning, I heard a pop, pop, pop outside my apartment. I thought it was firecrackers, but then a bullet hit my window. I was on the floor, praying. It was very disturbing.’’ She had been caught in the middle of a shootout between a drive-by shooter and the police, though no bystanders were hurt.

        She moved in August to a quieter street in the West End.

        At the Alabama Fish Bar at Race and Liberty, her customers crowd into the small space by the counter and wait for their dinners of perch, whiting or cod hot from the fryer. Every few minutes the door opens and someone else comes in: folks from the neighborhood, workers from downtown, policemen.

        When she talks about the people who caused the riots, she often says maybe they were ‘‘caught up in the system.’’ Maybe they’ve been to prison or been laidoff. Maybe they need some help.

        ‘‘They need a second or third chance. You’d be surprised what people can do when they’re given a chance.’’

        She looks at vacant houses in the neighborhood and thinks that the city could turn them from eyesores into rehab or retraining centers. People in a position of power need to see folks in Over-the-Rhine as people deserving of respect, she says. And people in power would have to invest some money.

        ‘‘I know it would take money to bring about change here. When they wanted to build the stadium, or help those businesses downtown, there was money right away. But we don’t see it down here.’’

— Polly Campbell

Faces of Over-the-Rhine
Restaurant owner Paul Sebring
Taft senior Darrel Shields
Social worker Angela Coleman
Sarah Center director Sister Jeanette Buehler
Jordanian grocer Taraq T.A. Adwani
Filmmaker Steve Gebhardt
Gallery owner Suzanna Terril
Beauty shop supplier Chong Kim
Teacher's aide Kemberley Alexander
- Waitress Karla Davis
Teacher Sharon Brooks
Dock worker Leo Sneed
Police officer Michael Ammann
Soup kitchen manager Denise McPherson
Artist Joseph M. Winterhalter
Janitor Latrell Walker
Fund-raiser Torren "T.J." Partridge
School social worker Joe Wilmers
Rehabber Greg Badger
Medical student John Eckman
Treatment counselor Calvin W. Wooten
Photographer Jimmy Heath

The Police
Violence up, arrests down
- Changes made since April 2001
Q&A with Police Chief Streicher
Q&A with former F.O.P. president Keith Fangman

Neighbor to Neighbor
Community meetings produce results
Going beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
What's happening in 145 communities
A sampling of communities:
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Related Links
Neighbor to Neighbor home page
Matters of Race: Bridging the divide in Greater Cincinnati
On the Same Page Cincinnati
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Cincinnati 2001: Year of unrest
Unrest in the city: Archive of riot coverage
Unrest photo timeline
Jim Borgman on race

One Year Later
What were they thinking?
Too early to assess impact
Micheal Basnight's resolve
Violence part of life in OTR
CAN co-chair has no doubt
ACLU adds its Y-E-S to deal

Restaurant owner
Taft senior
Social worker
Sarah Center director
Jordanian grocer
Gallery owner
Beauty shop supplier
Teacher's aide
Dock worker
Police officer
Soup kitchen manager
School social worker
Medical student
Treatment counselor

Violence up, arrests down
Changes since April 2001
Q&A with Streicher
Q&A with Keith Fangman

Meetings produce results
Beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
In your community
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Neighbor to Neighbor
Matters of Race
On the Same Page
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Year of unrest
Riot news archive
Unrest photos
Jim Borgman on race