Kathy Y. Wilson, win or lose, still not too shabby

In New York City last night at the National Magazine Awards gala – the literal Oscars of magazine writing, awarded by the American Society of Magazine Editors – five publication finalists were read off in the profile writing category. They were Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, National Geographic, New York Magazine and… (gasp!) Cincinnati Magazine.

I don’t know if that blows your mind like it blows mine, but, folks, that is a really, really big deal. The article nominated by a group of out-of-town, national-caliber judges was by freelancer writer and former Cincinnati CityBeat columnist (see “Your Negro Tour Guide“) Kathy Y. Wilson, a black lesbian, about (and this is the part that kills me) Bill Cunningham, a white, conservative, loud-mouth radio talk show host. The article was titled “Is Bill Cunningham a Great American?“

She did not win, but that’s not the point. Just getting nominated – and in that field of contestants, my God – is just simply an achievement unlike many I have seen here in a long, long time. So, no, no trophy, but I think she deserves a big congratulations nonetheless.

The article, by the way, which ran in Cincinnati Magazine’s November 2006 issue, is truly a great piece of writing. You might want to give it a read.

Kathy, thank you again for bringing a little pride and a different voice to our city. I love the way you do it, with your in-your-face, sometimes abrasive, straight-talk style – even if not everyone does – and I hope you keep it up. Congratulations.

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for About.com's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, iRhine.com. He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

3 thoughts on “Kathy Y. Wilson, win or lose, still not too shabby”

  1. Well it was a really, really well done article. I remember it from when it came out. One that can be read and savored. Why the Enquirer doesn’t give her an op-ed spot is a mystery to me. Run her opposite a a good local conservative (not Bronson)… it would be fantastic.

  2. Although I think she is a very good writer, Kathy Wilson has made too many generalized, negative comments about “white males” to fully earn my respect. That’s racism, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if it’s fashionable, or if it’s done in the context of “abrasive” creativity.

  3. I didn’t read the article but I know she is a very good writer. Before she started at CityBeat she wrote several articles for another pretty conservative local paper and I have to be honest, I couldn’t stand her! Ironically though, I was addicted to her writing style and her wit, even if it was often times mean spirited and sorta kinda smacked of racism at times. When I picked up a CityBeat one day and saw her Negro Tour Guide column I couldn’t resist the read. I can imagine she gave ole Billy boy a great big a** whippin. My husband and I actually got into a fight that almost led to fisticuffs after Billy aired a show about the tradition of giving the first baby of the new year a shower of gifts. Bill’s idea was that the gifts should go to the baby who came from a family who had “tradtional family values”. In other words a family with a mom AND a dad. If the first baby born was to a single mother too bad! At least Kathy can write…Billy just likes to hear himself speak.

Leave a Reply