Otis Houston Jr “Black Cherokee” (Harlem, New York)
Time Square has the Naked Cowboy. Harlem has the Black Cherokee. Since 1969 he can be found in Harlem. “Tough and strong like George Foreman, fast and small like Mohommed Ali..and I got little bit of Frazier in me. Your not wealthy unless your healthy.” I came across him at 125th & Lenox avenue. Mr. Houston, 58, calls himself “Black Cherokee” because he is, in fact, part Cherokee, has created something of a performance art. He was stopping traffic on 125th.
Many drivers slowed and honked, waved and yelled hello. Many seemed to know him by his first name, or his nickname. Mr. Houston, a vegetarian, talks about the importance of eating right and avoiding liquor, cigarettes and drugs. He often poses with pieces of fruit, he says, to promote good nutrition.