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Letters Column 

Week of April 6, 2006

You Are Here, March 16, 2006

Island Hop

Not washed out, washed in: With regard to Tim Lane's column about dueling in St. Louis: Bloody Island was not washed away. Rather, it was "attached" to the Illinois shore by a series of dikes about the year 1840. It is now part of the East St. Louis riverfront. The dike project was carried out by a young army officer named Robert E. Lee.

For more info, see Made in USA: East St. Louis, which was RFT's "Best Book by a Local Author" in 2003!
Andrew Theising, Clayton

Feature, January 4, 2006

The Pro-Brie Backlash

Can Brie get a witness? I am not a reporter, but I am going to report on this one. I read "Girl Walks into a Comedy Club...," Julie Seabaugh's story about Brie Johnson. I read all the hate mail too. I found it very interesting that no one bothered to venture out and see this girl in action. One would think that people would go see her show before they write in their opinion on her.

Well, I did, and I must say she is something else. I can't explain what I saw, but I've never seen someone pull off what this girl did. After reading what LaWanda Wallace had to say about Brie (Letters, February 23), I read up on her. I too am a black female and I found it very interesting that not only did the St. Louis American mention Brie, but the entire Apple Bottom story was about her. It is very uncommon for the American to write about a white person. After what I witnessed, I understand why they did.

I saw Brie Johnson perform at the Jazz Loft for a new show called "Cometry." The show was great! Brie was great! The Jazz Loft was filled with about 400 people and about 30 of them were white.

LaWanda, I'm sorry, but comedy and racial comedy does work for Miss Johnson. Maybe you should go see her. She is fearless. Somehow she is able to take her audience to the edge and bounce back. I wouldn't compare her to Sarah Silverman at all. I'd compare her to no one because there is no one out there like her. (I would, however, compare her to urban comedians because she truly is an urban comedian.) I agree with Bob Osterholt when he said everyone is jealous (Letters, February 2).

When she hit the crowd with her joke about being "ashy," I died laughing! I couldn't believe what I saw going on around me; I thought for sure she was going to get it for that one, but the crowd loved it. She didn't even blink an eye, she just kept going! Once she stepped offstage, the entire place was cheering and shaking her hand. I even congratulated her after the show. She told me all about herself and all the things she's been doing.

She told me: "I have a black mentality because I took the time to understand and appreciate someone that's different than me." I now understand why the St. Louis American wrote about a white girl in their paper: She's black!
Nici Jones, St. Louis

Seeing = believing:This is a letter of praise and encouragement for Brie Johnson. I've watched Brie perform her craft and have been thoroughly impressed. There are very few white comedians (male or female) who can relate to and capture a black audience, and Brie Johnson is one of those few. She's edgy, frank, daring and insightful — all the necessary ingredients perfected by the most successful and influential comedians of the past and present.

To those reading this letter, when the opportunity comes to see this up-and-coming comedian, do yourself a favor and go see for yourself!
Ausar Ureaus Tet Sahu, St. Charles

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