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Black & Single Blues, by Dwight Hobbes



Life without Lesli was, any way you sliced it, a losing proposition. Sleep, forget about it. It took all the courage he had — frankly, not a lot — to lay on the bed where they’d made love.

Black & Single Blues: Keith worries he might — god forbid! — have found his soul mate


Lesli threatened to — hell, had done it — make a lie of Keith’s conviction that soul mates do not come along in real life. For one, she understood his concerns about identity in relation to her own. That night of their first “date” so long ago, hanging at her crib, he’d listened close as she went on and on about novelists Zora Neale Hurston and Ann Petry (whoever Petry had been).

Lunch with Luis might ease Keith’s blues

Three in the afternoon. Keith sat with his bare feet propped up on the coffee table, hung over like hell, nursing a beer, watching the Mets lose their fourth of the last five games. On top of which, he had lost Lesli.

Dwight Hobbes’ Black and Single Blues



Editor’s note: This is the 16th episode of “Black & Single Blues” since the series began in our February 14 issue. Thus far, Dwight Hobbes’ continuation and expansion of a story that originally appeared in Essence magazine has taken Keith Jackson through prolonged reflection on his relationship with Lesli Hall, who remain unaware of Keith’s doubts about their future. Readers who have followed the story from its beginning will find their anticipation amply rewarded in upcoming segments.

2011 & jazz: looking back and going forward

James on Jazz
By Robin James

(l-r) Delfeayo Marsalis, Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis performed at the NEA Jazz Master Awards Ceremony and Concert held in New York Jan. 11. Their father Ellis (left photo) accepted a Jazz Master Award granted to the entire family.

The diners hold forth

Hank snatched up a cloth and began wiping the glass table down. “Would you start putting those burgers on the platter while they’re still edible?”

“Sure thing.”

“So, what’s my daughter got against Helen St. James? I saw the woman on a TV interview. Seems like a nice lady. Kind of on the sassy side, but still nice.”

“Oh, Helen’s fine. To tell the truth, Lesli doesn’t know her real well. Hasn’t taken the time. She… Well, she doesn’t like the fact that I like her. I mean, as a friend and all, but, well, Helen’s a special kind of gal.”

“Ah,” Hank said and tossed the cloth under the grill. “The green-eyed devil raising his head.”

“Yeah, you could say.”

“I wouldn’t let that throw you, son. Her mother was the same way. She’ll get over it.”

Keith winced.