The Observer

The haunting legacy of police subculture

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

April 27, 2018

In the wake of Councilman Kevin Conwell being racially-profiled by Case Western Reserve University police officers, a larger problem is being signified—a police subculture pervasive throughout the United States that sustains biased methodologies and hate-fueled rhetoric. As a Black man and a histor...

Cannon: Healing and decolonizing through the art of poetry

Pablo Neruda's poetry preserved the memory of Federico García Lorca after he was murdered. Keeping track of history is just one reason why poetry is so important.

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

April 13, 2018

Poetry has always played a vital role in my life, shaping the formation of my racial and ethnic identity. My peers often convey diluted and inaccurate visions of what poetry is supposed to be, but poetry is much more than snapping fingers at overpriced coffeehouses and predictable rhyme schemes. P...

Cannon: We must denounce all forms of gun violence

Protesters at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. spoke out against gun violence.

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

March 30, 2018

In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, I've seen students throughout the United States mobilize to confront the issues of gun control and gun violence. I'm proud to see the youth engaging in politics, but I can't help but to feel shaded: Why has so little been...

Cannon: The extremism of white men should not be ignored

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

March 2, 2018

My uncle, Champ, was heavily involved with Cleveland’s Black Panther Party chapter throughout the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. At the time, both my mother and uncle claimed that members of the pro-black political faction were purposely subjected to illegal and dehumanizing police procedures. Decades...

Cannon: Thoughts on overcoming toxic family relationships during the holidays

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

January 19, 2018

Coming from a multiracial family, especially in the midst of this polarized political climate, I’ve found myself in conflict with my father’s side of the family. The complex relationships I share with relatives on the White side of my family have deteriorated more and more since the initiation of...

Cannon: Human trafficking and the forgotten women of Cleveland

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

December 1, 2017

This September marked one of the few occasions that I could recall a highly publicized sentencing of a pimp in Cleveland. I wasn’t shocked by the premise of a pimp operating or prospering in Cleveland. In my experience, sex workers were never cloaked by the pitch-black shadows of the streets—they...

Cannon: Speaking about addiction without stigma

Anyone can fall into a drug addiction. We need to stop stigmatizing addiction and mental illness.

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

November 10, 2017

When you come from a family that has been dramatically affected by addiction, you have two choices: You passionately abstain from drug use, or you find yourself trekking the same self-destructive path. We need to start speaking constructively about addiction without demonizing addicts. My mother...

Cannon: Police brutality, prejudice and White allyship

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

October 13, 2017

“Man, did you see that video of them cops beating that kid in Euclid?” My Facebook inbox was flooded with unread messages on the afternoon of Aug. 18. Unbeknownst to me, bystanders had recently uploaded a video of Euclid police officers assaulting Richard Hubbard III. The 25-year-old is seen b...

Cannon: Growing up in East Cleveland and the perils of gun violence

Christopher Alan Cannon, Columnist

September 29, 2017

I was born in East Cleveland. My childhood was pillaged by the systemic extensions of poverty. The project buildings near the corner of East 40th and Woodland Avenue  were not Case Western Reserve University. It was not my teenage home of Chagrin Falls. It was this dichotomous place of magic...

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