A Sneak Preview of Columbus Monthly’s May Issue

For the first time in the magazine’s history, we’re devoting an entire issue to a single topic: the experiences of Black people in Columbus.

Dave Ghose
Columbus Monthly
May 2021 cover of Columbus Monthly

The relief didn’t last.

As so many welcomed the news of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction last week, elation turned to outrage abruptly. Word spread that a Columbus police officer had killed another Black person—a 16-year-old girl named Ma’Khia Bryant. Within minutes, the familiar spectacle began again: politicians urging calm, activists demanding justice, social media exploding with shock and fury.

How did we get here? Like many people, I’ve been thinking about this question a lot since the video of Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck inspired street protests across the country nearly a year ago and led to a nationwide conversation about racial injustice in all aspects of American life. While this magazine has long covered inequality, I recognized we needed to do something more substantial, something that delved deeper into the persistent and insidious divisions within our community. To accomplish this goal, I needed help—and I’m grateful that acclaimed journalist, historian and Columbus native son Wil Haygood agreed to guide our team through this challenging topic.

This collaboration has resulted in something unique in the history of Columbus Monthly. For the first time since the magazine launched in 1975, we’re devoting an entire issue to a single topic: the experiences of Black people in our city. Together, our team and Wil, who served as guest editor, assembled an ambitious lineup of stories for the May issue that explores Black life in Columbus, from the arts to law enforcement to education and more.

As proud as I am of this issue, I recognize we need to keep up the work and do a better job covering racial inequality and the experiences of people of color than we have in the past. This is a start, not the end.

Here are the May feature stories, which we will begin rolling out on our website next week.

The Kahiki Incident

The 1975 confrontation at the famed restaurant is a civil rights turning point, a Black political awakening and a tale of police violence that continues to resonate.

The Teacher and the Student

The extraordinary political career of Mike Coleman provided a road map for his protégé, Shannon Hardin. Then the world changed.

Warning: Racism is Hazardous to Your Health

Franklin County and the city of Columbus have declared racism a public health threat for good reason. What’s being done to attack the inequities?

Sundays in Franklin Park

A bygone era of cars, congas, bell bottoms and Black joy lives on in the memories of its participants—and in the photography of Steve Harrison.

East Side Story

Can King-Lincoln Bronzeville retain its central role in the life of Black Columbus as white residents and investment dollars pour into the neighborhood?

Year of Discovery

How Black artists are responding to a time of crisis

Let’s Talk About Race

Suburban school districts are finally grappling with what it means to be inclusive.

God’s Country

While Linden has struggled, its roughly 100 churches have a remained a source of strength. Can these religious anchors keep the faith amid gun violence, unemployment and another neighborhood turnaround plan?

And there’s more:

Poindexter Village’s second life

Nia Dennis’ ode to Black excellence

A peek inside Kelton House

Ena’s Caribbean Kitchen nourishes Linden.

Alexis Nikole Nelson’s gospel of wild food

If you subscribe to the magazine ($1.50 per month), we’ll send you this issue. You can subscribe here. The issue will be available on newsstands next week.