Chicago Defender 06-26-2019

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Volume 114 No. 9 | June 26 - July 2, 2019

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Noble Charter School Campuses Providing Free Summer Breakfasts The Noble Network of Charter Schools will provide breakfasts and lunches during the summer months to all neighborhood children at 13 of their Chicago campuses. The Summer Food Service Program, offered in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will be free of charge and available to people ages 18 and under. “The summer break from school is a welcomed respite for most, but we know these months can also offer some extra challenges keeping children healthy and safe,” said Monica Bromber, the director of dining services for Noble. “By opening our cafeterias for free breakfast and lunch, we know the children we feed will have balanced, nutritious meals the days we have the opportunity to serve them – all they need to do is arrive, and we’ll take care of the rest.” Below is a complete list of campuses, addresses, dates and times of the free

summer meals offered Mondays-Fridays, except for July 4 (note some campuses are closed July 5 too): • Baker College Prep: 2710 E 89th St, Chicago, IL 60617, 6/24-8/2, 7:15am7:45am, 11am-12pm • DRW College Prep: 931 S Homan Ave, Chicago, IL 60624, 6/17- 7/26, 7:50am-8:10am, 12pm-12:45pm • Gary Comer College Prep: 7131 S South Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, 6/24-7/25, 7:45am-8:10am, 12:10pm12:30pm • Gary Comer Middle School: 1010 E 72nd St, Chicago, IL 60619, 6/17-7/19, 8:30am-8:50am, M-Th,12pm-12:30pm • Hansberry College Prep: 8748 S Aberdeen St, Chicago, IL 60620, 6/247/30, 7:30am-8am, 11:30am-12pm • ITW David Speer Academy: 5321 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60639, 6/26 – 8/2, 7am-8:30am, 11:45am-12:15pm • Johnson College Prep: 6350 S

Stewart Ave, Chicago, IL 60621, 6/247/25, 7:45am-8:15am, 12:30pm-1:00pm • Mansueto High School: 911 W 47th St, Chicago, IL 60632, 6/17-7/26, 7:30am8am/8:30am-9am, 12pm-12:30pm • Muchin College Prep: 1 N State St Floor 7, Chicago, IL 60602, 6/24-7/25, 7:15am-8am, 11:30am-12:30pm • Noble Street College Prep: 1010 N Noble St, Chicago, IL 60642, 6/20-8/1, 7:30am-8:10am, 12pm-12:40pm • Pritzker College Prep: 4131 W Cortland St, Chicago, IL 60639, 6/18-7/25, 7:30am-8am, 12pm-12:30pm • Rowe Clark Math & Science Academy: 3645 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60651, 6/19-7/31, 7:30am-8am, 12pm12:30pm • UIC College Prep: 1231 S Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60608, 6/19-8/2, 7:30am7:55am, 12pm-12:25pm For more information, please visit

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Boxville Opens for the Third Season Fund have long contributed to community stabilization and development efforts to restore communities like Bronzeville,” said Maurice Williams, vice president of economic development at The Chicago Community Loan Fund. “Build Bronzeville is an exciting effort to revitalize a community not just important to black Chicago, but Chicago overall.”

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Boxville, a South side shipping container mall, is open for its third season, giving local business owners a low-cost way to conduct business. The evening event had more than 200 participants flowing in and out of the outdoor marketplace. Boxville is one part of a larger community revitalization effort called “Build Bronzeville.” The effort seeks to blend entrepreneurship, food and the arts, historic destinations, and neighborhood beautification to connect neighbors and expand economic opportunity in the area. “In order to make Chicago better for everyone, we have to turn communities like Bronzeville around,” said Bernard Loyd, president and founder of Urban Juncture. “’Build Bronzeville’ uses the culture and people of our historic community to develop commerce and bring jobs back for residents and to attract visitors to enjoy our unique food, music, and the arts. And Boxville is a key part of that effort.” 2 June 26 - july 2, 2019

The Boxville opener, held on the 154th anniversary of Juneteenth, honored the day of belated emancipation by celebrating freedom through commerce, music and education -- including a book giveaway, food and fun for community residents and visitors. In addition to local artisanal, apparel, and food vendors, the opener also featured a makerspace with screen printing and Fresh Moves Mobile Market with fresh produce for sale. Bronzeville is a community of more than 100,000 residents with a rich history as the “Black Metropolis” where African Americans created a vibrant community around a strong, local consumer-driven economy and attractive entertainment venues. The area started to decline in the 1960s due to disinvestment and other factors. Currently, more than 40 percent of the residents make less than $25,000 a year and private sector jobs make up less than a third of jobs in the area. “We at the Chicago Community Loan

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Fashion, Design, Art and Music Converge By Tia Carol Jones Managing editor Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art is a representation of all the worlds Abloh exists in – fashion, music and art. Abloh, a Chicagoan who rose to fame with his OffWhite clothing line and work with Kanye West, is now the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection. Abloh attended University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering there. He also received a Master of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2012, Abloh began creating graphic t-shirts. He eventually would start his own line, Pyrex Vision. It featured shirts with “Pyrex,” “23” – a nod to Michael Jordan’s number, as well as images of paintings by Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio. In 2013, Abloh launched the Off-White clothing brand. It connected architectural and urban design elements. And it featured the black-and-white diagonal stripes that became the brand’s signature. In addition to his art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, there is a Louis Vuitton pop-up men’s store, located at 1100 W. Randolph. The pop-up shop will feature Abloh’s second menswear collection, FW19, for the fashion house. It will continue through Sunday, July 7. Michael Darling, the James W. Alsdorf chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, talked about Abloh’s evolution and how it manifests in the exhibit.

“The early environment is ever present in Virgil’s work,” he said. “Architectural scale is ever present in the exhibition.” Among the pieces are sculptural renditions and recreations. “This amazing new sculpture, a gigantic billboard, a black billboard that looks as if it’s crashing though the ceiling, right into the space,” Darling said. “We’ve recreated a backdrop from a fashion show that looks like a neoclassical façade … to create a disjunctive sense of scale and a different type of architecture that contrasts with our white cubed gallery upstairs.” There is a sculptural rendition of the “Yeezus” album cover Abloh created. “His work when he was the creative director for DONDA, Kanye West’s creative firm, absolutely paved the way for the work he’s done since going out on his own in 2012,” Darling said. Darling said Abloh’s work exemplifies a really tight graphic design identity. “Throughout, you’ll really sense Virgil’s sense of graphic design and an unerring kind of sophistication to his graphic design approach,” he said. There also are posters of flyers Abloh creates for his deejay sets, which he only posts on Instagram. In one room, there are sculptures in various poses and a neon sign that reads, “You’re obviously in the wrong place.” It’s called “Black Gaze,” and Darling said it shows the political undercurrent, not just of this show, but in so much of Abloh’s work. “Seeing through an autobiographical lens, this almost impossible journey of a black kid from suburban Rock-

Photos by Nathan Keay, MCA Chicago ford, Ill., to take over one of the major fashion houses in Europe,” he said. “It is a commentary of Virgil as an interloper into the predominantly white industry that he’s been able to infiltrate.” Continue on Page 4 June 26-July 2, 2019 3


Brown Girls Do Invest Tour Comes to Chicago

Continued from Page 3

Photo by Spencer Bibbs By Megann Horstead Contributing Writer The Brown Girls Do Invest Tour stopped in Chicago to educate women of color about the power of investing. Held at the DuSable Museum of African American History, the event consisted of a panel discussion, remarks from featured speakers and a question-and-answer session. Bahiyah Shabazz, the founder and executive director for Black Girls Do Invest, said the goal of the tour is to “educate you to give you that knowledge, so that you can move forward and leave a legacy.” Among the topics discussed during the event was how to invest in stocks, real estate and to learn to acquire multiple lines of income. Brown Girls Do Invest was formed in 2016 to fill what its founder and board of directors believe was a unique void. Shabazz, who has about 20 years of professional experience in the financial industry, said she wanted to find a way to engage more women of color about ways to impact the economy and secure retirement. When attending events in the past, Shabazz often found she was the only one in the room that looked like her, which she said needed to change. “We control this market,” Shabazz said. “We spend over $3 trillion a year, but more importantly, we want to make sure that we have a future as well. We want to make sure that we leave a legacy. Someone, who does not look like us—who sits across the table—does not understand the plights that we go through.” Women of color often come from different backgrounds, ranging between head of household, single-parent families and two-parent families. Shabazz said among the reasons why women of color find themselves in debt is because of a lack of participation in employee retirement accounts, homeownership and stock. “We are going to change that with our education and one share at a time,” she said. Cimone Casson, a cannabis financial planner and the owner of Cannas Capital, said one of the keys to realizing your full financial potential is “you’ve got to be able to save and you have to be able to invest.” Several panelists brought up the impor4 June 26-July 2, 2019

tance of having discipline and automating the way income streams into checking and savings accounts and building an investment portfolio. Attendees were advised to start building an emergency reserve fund, if they don’t already, to promote financial stability. The goal is to have six to 12 months of income, if single. If married, that means having three to six months of income. Delta Jones-Walker, the founder of Atled Financial and one of the panelists at the event, said another thing that could help is having an accountability partner, a person who will hold you responsible for financial decisions. Danielle Pierce, an entrepreneur and one of the featured speakers, shared a differing viewpoint. “I actually don’t believe in accountability partners,” she said. “I believe in hanging around like-minded people, I believe in having a group of people that you run ideas by and you guys working together, but you have to be prepared to go that road alone.” Several panelists made mention of how important diversification is to having multiple streams of income. Businesses, partnerships and stocks are some of the ways to make that possible. Florence Hardy, a business consultant and one of the panelists at the event, said the power of investing can be realized in different ways, but getting started is a common difficulty than can be overcome. “I can start where I know already, where I have some expertise, where I have some knowledge, and begin there,” she said. Shabazz acknowledged that many people may have ideas for businesses they’d like to set up and said one common problem people raise is finding the financing to make it a reality. Hardy said it’s important to pinpoint what the funding would be used for. “The truth of the matter is very few businesses start with that $150,000 loan,” she said. “Banks aren’t going give it to you. Even if you have a network of individuals, who have some wealth and want to invest, they’re not going to give it to you right away. They want to see that you have some momentum, that you know what you’re doing, that you know what you’re talking about.”

“Seeing through an autobiographical lens, this almost impossible journey of a black kid from suburban Rockford, Ill., to take over one of the major fashion houses in Europe,” he said. “It is a commentary of Virgil as an interloper into the predominantly white industry that he’s been able to infiltrate.” Abloh said he had been working on the show for almost three years. And, there are similarities between his work and the way the city intersects and converges. “The grid system of the city itself, the way Chicago is set up with some pretty stark markers: South Side, West Side, North Side … Everything sort of connects in the center here, just where we’re at. It’s basically the middle,” he said. Abloh said he and a collective of artists would meet in the center. He said the show signifies the journey he is on as a creator. “That show upstairs on one hand is a bunch of stuff … on a level, that it is art, it is a tri-section of understanding what advertising means,” he said. “It’s me unpacking all of these advertisements.” Abloh said he had preconceived notions of what a designer was. He said the exhibit shows his transition of being a consumer on Michigan Avenue to being a creator. “I thought an artist with a capital A, architect with a capital A looked like what

I projected they looked like,” he said. “I didn’t look like that, so I was sort of content with being a consumer.” Abloh said he hoped the show would foster something new and open the door to a wider, contemporary audience. “Places like a museum, I thought was a safe haven to sort of speak about the obvious that me as a male, as a black man from Chicago … just to sort of vent and voice the sort of inherent boxes we sort of place ourselves,” he said. The exhibit will be on display through Sunday, Sept. 22. From MCA, it will be featured at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, from Nov. 9-March 8; ICA Boston from July 2020 to Sept. 2020; and Brooklyn Museum, from Winter 2020 to Spring 2021. For more information, visit For more information about the Louis Vuitton men’s collection pop-up, visit

Photo by Nathan Keay, MCA Chicago

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to Host Late Night Event The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave., will host Prime Time: “Question Everything,” from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 29. The event will provide late night access to the Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” exhibit and include a mix of live music, performances, interactive programs, food and drink. Chicago designers Sheila Rashid, Brandon Breaux, Tatiana Hazel, Sir and Madame, TRAP HOUSE CHICAGO and Abigail Glaum-Lathbury will have their designs on display during a fashion show and pop-up shows around the museum campus. Visitors will have the opportunity to roller skate in a rink set up in the museum’s Edlis Neeson Theater, with performances by Glide8orz Skate Crew. There also will be live musical performances by Tatiana Hazel, Duane Powell, South Shore Drill Team and The Illustrious Blacks. Cost is $45 at the door and $40 in advance. Tickets are available by calling the MCA box office at 312-397-4010 or by visiting


Brewer Coffee and Custard Open for Business on Chicago’s South Side By Megann Horstead Contributing Writer Elijah Brewer III, the owner and a major partner for Brewer Coffee and Custard, believes in the power of serving the community with purpose. So, when an opportunity arose to set up a hybrid café for coffee and custard in his hometown, he could not refuse. “We’re convinced that black folks in that area deserve a high-quality service that one can get on the north side of Chicago,” Brewer said. “We set out to create an environment, a building that reflects high quality.” Brewer Coffee and Custard opened for business last month in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood. The menu features, among other things, custard, milk shakes, banana splits, affogato and coffee. The café, by design, is set up with a custard room to allow patrons to see how custard is made. It’s not uncommon for patrons to mistake custard for ice cream, which Brewer said happens at times. “There’s a difference,” he said. “There’s more air in ice cream and less air in custard. Custard is a more visually pleasing product.” Brewer said the location for his business is not happenstance. “As you walk down 79th Street in either direction, you would see that there are very few places that have custard,” he said. Brewer’s parents moved to the Auburn Gresham neighborhood in the mid-1960s. Around that time, they

operated a beverage business on the corner of Morgan and 79th Streets. “My dad, being an entrepreneur—with some help— acquired the property,” Brewer said, referring to the location of Brewer Coffee and Custard. “This property came as part of my parent’s estate.” Brewer took possession of the property about four years ago, at which point the property was sitting dormant. “My mom left me with a lot of things, but one of the things she left me with was a recipe to make custard,” he said. Around that time, Brewer started manufacturing custard at home when an idea came to mind to buy a custard machine. “I started to experiment with my mother’s recipe of making custard,” Brewer said. “I made vanilla; I made chocolate, strawberry. I used to circulate it among

my friends to give them a sample.” Brewer said he’s given his idea to open a café since then a lot of careful thought. “I’m going to continue the legacy that my mom and dad had established with these properties,” he said. Brewer Coffee and Custard has set up shop thanks, in part, to financial assistance provided by one of Chicago’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, which is a tool used by municipalities to spur redevelopment. “79th Street used to be a thriving commercial area, and I’d like to help resurrect it,” Brewer said. “One of my motivations is to give back to the community in which I grew up.” Brewer Coffee and Custard is located at 1008 W. 79th Street and is open seven days per week. For information, visit

Dr. Margena A. Christian Hosted a Family Discussion on the Legacy of John H. Johnson By Lee Edwards Contributing Writer John H. Johnson founded Johnson Publication Company (JPC), which published the trailblazing EBONY and JET magazines. Commemorating the legacy of John H. Johnson, one of the original titans in Black media, was the challenge Dr. Margena A. Christian sought to take on in her book, Empire: The House That John H. Johnson Built (The Life & Legacy of Pioneering Publishing Magnate). Dr. Margena A. Christian is a former senior editor of EBONY and features editor of JET. Empire shares the untold stories, from several perspectives, on what it was like to work within the walls of Johnson Publishing Company and with Johnson himself. Christian said her book, which was published in 2018, is comprised of more than five years of research on the complexities of Johnson. It is a continuation of her 2013 dissertation for her doctorate program from National Louis University. She said she worked with Johnson for more than a decade starting in 1995. On Saturday, June 8 at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Christian and several of her former EBONY and JET colleagues served the role of torch carriers for Johnsons legacy. They participated in a panel discussion filled with laughs, fond memories and a reverence for Johnson’s multi-generational legacy with an intimate audience of less than 50 attendees. The conversation was co-moderated

(l-r): Kevin McFall, former interim CMO/senior vice president of Ebony Media Operations f.k.a. JPC and vice president, integrated marketing, digital strategy & licensing JPC; Clarence Waldron, former JET senior editor; Darryl Dennard, former EBONY/JET Showcase co-host; Christopher Benson, former vice president and associate counsel for JPC and EBONY features editor; Dr. Margena A. Christian, a former EBONY senior editor and JET features editor; Charles Whitaker, former EBONY senior editor and dean of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism; and Deborah Crable, former EBONY/JET Showcase co-host shared decades worth of memories about the legendary John H. Johnson at a panel discussion held at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. on Saturday, June 8. by Deborah Crable and Darryl Dennard, former EBONY/JET Showcase co-hosts, and featured the following panelists: Christian; Christopher Benson, former vice president and associate counsel for JPC; Kevin McFall, former interim chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Ebony Media Operations, formally known as JPC; Clarence Waldron, former JET senior editor; and Charles Whitaker, former EBONY senior editor and dean of Northwest-

ern’s Medill School of Journalism. Christian said part of her inspiration for hosting the discussion was to celebrate and remember the life and legacy of John H. Johnson with “those who not only helped him to write history, but who were part of that history with him.” Among several noteworthy stories, Dr. Christian also shared the story of her pitch to do a cover story of Tyler Perry, which would be his first cover story in a national

publication. Her fellow panelists recalled that story, with accompanied laughter, as well as Johnson’s now famous interactions with staff during editorial meetings, his vision for Black media and its future, how he delighted in highlighting various firsts within the Black community and much more. “Everyone had a different, unique journey with Mr. Johnson,” Christian said. “And I wanted people to hear what those journeys were — some of those other perspectives and thoughts. I just thought this would be a wonderful time to do that.” In April 2019, Johnson Publishing Company filed for bankruptcy in federal court in Chicago, according to the Associated Press. When considering the enduring legacy of Johnson, Johnson Publishing Company, EBONY and JET, McFall told the Defender, during the Q&A portion of the event, that there is hope that the future owner of EBONY and JET’s collective assets “clearly understands the importance and vitality of that legacy and will do the right thing to ensure that the legacy lives on.” For more information, visit https://www. Empire: The House That John H. Johnson Built (The Life & Legacy of Pioneering Publishing Magnate) is available for purchase among many outlets, including: Empire-Johnson-Pioneering-Publishing-Magnate/dp/0692137548/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=. Photo by Lee Edwards June 26-July 2, 2019 5


Top Harlan High School Graduates Ready for Next Chapter: College!

By Ariel Parrella-Aureli Contributing Writer Graduation season is right around the corner and high school seniors are getting ready to begin a new chapter of their lives. For Janise Duckworth, a senior at Harlan High School, 9652 S. Michigan Ave. in Roseland, mixed emotions swell up when thinking about college. “I feel anxious but I think I am ready to be on my own a little bit,” Duckworth said, who will be attending Harris Stowe State University, a Historically Black College in St. Louis. Duckworth is one of three high-achieving students at Harlan High School who are Principal Scholars which recognize students who are in the top 10 of their class in the entire high school. Along with Malone Smith and Keyuana Williams, the students have demonstrated excellence in academics, said Principal Ramona Colette Outlaw. But it’s more than just that. “It’s about attendance, behavior and being leaders for their fellow students,” Outlaw said. These student leaders have excelled in their school community and beyond, and their academic and extracurricular activities have prepared them for the future, Malone and Duckworth said. Duckworth, who is from Roseland, is president of Harlan’s chapter of the National Honor Society and was a participant in the Future Leaders of Chicago Program at the University of Chicago, where she collaborated with other students to develop solutions to the problems facing their communities. Through the leadership program she said she took away a better understanding of the incarceration system and the perception of people in jail or prison. Visiting Cook County Jail and speaking with those behind bars was a touchy subject, she said, but one that invigorated her passion for helping people, especially 6 June 26-July 2, 2019

those wrongfully convicted. “It made me feel like these people got their life taken away from them and now they are stuck in jail,” she said. “Don’t see people on the inside of jail as a different person or like an alien.” She wants to study acoustical engineering with a hope of one day having her own music studio. But also has an interest in business and wants to either double major or get a minor in entrepreneurship. The Future Leaders program showed her the importance of social justice practice and she hopes she can combine that into her career. Williams is also headed to Harris Stowe State University and has been the president of the school’s Senior Advisory Council this year, where she works with the principal directly to solve problems facing the school and its students. She received a college scholarship from the TJX Young Business Institute after completing a 12-week career development workshop. She plans to study either business or fashion merchandising. Smith plans to study engineering and said he is anxious for college, but ready for a change of pace. He also stands out because of his artistic and robotic interests that began at Harlan High School. After a teacher introduced him to robotics, Outlaw enrolled him in a monthly robotics class as part of a pre-en-

gineering early involvement program with Northrop Grumman. He will attend the University of Illinois Springfield in the fall and wants to pursue a career in cyber security. He said his high school teachers have aptly prepared him for college and what to do to excel in his major. “My teachers taught me about certain loans, FAFSA, and classes I should attend for my major and to understand my college better,” Smith said, a King Drive native. He is also part of the CPS Advanced Arts program, which is an off-campus high school magnet arts program that provides CPS high school juniors and seniors with a year-long, two-hour Honors or AP-level arts course. Although he wants to keep art as just a hobby, he said his interests combine together and are both a large part of who he is. “Art, you have to think outside the box and that is the same with engineering,” he said. Smith’s artwork, which focuses on portraits and hands using paints and pastels, was shown at Gallery Guichard in Bronzeville for an event called Artwork in Motion. “I feel honored — I never thought that my artwork would be in a gallery,” he said. Looking back on their high school experience, the students said it gave them valuable life lessons they will carry on to college. For Smith, the push to try something new and a strong work ethic are what he has learned. Duckworth said commitment has been a big lesson for her. “Sticking things out to the finish [and] doing things that are going to be best for me in the future,” she said is what she will take away from Harlan. “I am always trying to go for my top thing I want to do.”


Sketch Comedy Revue Opens Up Discussion on Race in America By Megann Horstead Now playing at The Revival Improv Comedy Theater, a sketch comedy revue dubbed, “Double Consciousness: A Guide to Being Black in America” tells stories through the lens of the black perspective to get audiences to laugh, reminisce and learn. Shows will continue through June 28.

From problems in the workplace to voter rights suppression, the sketches l address issues commonly experienced by black people in America. Natalie Green, the producer for the sketch comedy show, said there’s a lot for people to take away from the production. “The meaning behind ‘Double Consciousness’ is conscious of what it is to be black in America,” she said. “It’s knowing you’re black and what it’s like to be a black American. It’s very perspective-based. There are four black writers. We come from all different backgrounds, and we’re all utilizing comedy to get across a message.” The production draws some inspiration from Civil Rights activist W.E.B. DuBois and the idea of double consciousness, which is a concept he coined describing how one’s identity is divided into multiple parts.

“It is not 100 percent based off of that, but it definitely falls in line,” Green said. “He was clearly the one I was thinking about when the title came up.” The show strives to entertain and educate, all while maintaining a mainstream appeal, which cast member Ty Riggs said he thinks is important in capturing the audience’s attention. Cast member Briane Goodrum said she thinks there’s a disconnect in the way that people may perceive black Americans and their culture in today’s world which makes the sketch comedy show all the timelier. “I do think there can be a disconnect because of the media and what is shown, whether it be the news or what’s on a television show,” she said. “I think there are few television shows that accurately show black culture.” Goodrum said she thinks the show will resonate with the audience, in part, because satire is a way of poking fun but also acknowledging there’s something deeper to examine. Green said she wants the production to challenge the status quo. “I battled with this a lot,” Green said. “Sketch is a very white-dominated field. There are some sketches where I am like, ‘I hope my white friends aren’t uncomfortable,’ but also I had to come to terms. They’ve probably done hundreds of shows themselves that I don’t know if anyone ever stopped to think about, ‘I hope my black friend isn’t uncomfortable.’ I had to come to that realization in order to use what I do to possibly educate someone else in a comedic and fun way.” Cast member Charles Wagner acknowledged that sentiment, saying it’s “a challenge, too, because you never know how people are going to take it.” Sketch comedy shows can often provide a way not only to entertain, but also to educate people, which cast member Lauren Walker said offers an interesting complex for performers. “I think we can do both,” Walker said of entertaining and educating. “It’s important to educate, but the best way people retain knowledge is through laughter.” Cast member Julie Merica said she likes the way the production provides a space to tell stories that otherwise are not told. “I think it’s great to be put with others who are underrepresented in comedy,” she said. Walker shared that sentiment. “I do a lot of black comedy, but there definitely should be more,” she said. “There’s a need for it in the community. There’s not as much of it as I would like, but more and more people are getting involved and that’s cool to see.” All the shows will take place at The Revival Theater, which Green said makes sense on many levels for this production. “I chose this particular location because of the visibility that it has and also the demographics,” Green said. “All of the us—the entire cast—we all have an improv background. It feels great to be able to do it in a space, which is beautiful, along with being able to target the demographic that surrounds the area.” Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students. For information, visit

June 19-26, 2019 7


Real Men Celebrates 30 Years of Honoring Fathers

Black Music Month

By Lee Edwards On a late afternoon in June with overcast skies and smooth jazz in the air, Real Men Cook Charities, Inc. welcomed hundreds of people to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its trademark Father’s Day celebration. Unseasonable chilly weather was not enough to discourage families from making their way to the celebration held at Hales Franciscan HS, where several volunteer chefs with tasty food samples, entertainers, and vendors like Oak Street Health, University of Chicago, among others were front-and-center to engage visitors. Powering the day’s celebration -- the food -- were more than a dozen black men who volunteered to purchase, prepare, cook, and serve over a hundred free food samples to the public. Among the chefs was first year volunteer Antonio Riley, co-founder of Riley’s Ribz, a company that sells barbecue sauce and seasonings. He was joined by his wife and fellow co-founder, Caryn, and several volunteers who were stationed under one of several tents vendors operated under. Antonio said his decision to participate in the Father’s Day celebration stemmed from his first place finish in the Real Men Cook: Chicken & Chili Cookoff held in late January. For Father’s Day he cooked marinated barbecue chicken and jerk chicken. The Chicago native and father of four said in years past he attended the Real Men Cook Father’s Day celebration and decided this year he would get involved. “Just coming back to the community where I was born and raised and giving back, that’s what it is all about,” Antonio said. “It is Father’s Day and we want to show positive role models to our young men and this is a perfect place to do it.” Real Men Cook’s Father’s Day is an instrumental part of the Father’s Day festivities for some attendees. For example, Real Men Cook Father’s Day celebration stalwarts like Carl West, 48, who was accompanied by his daughter, Karly, 17, described the event as “part of my life” having known Real Men Cook’s co-founders Yvette and Kofi Moyo for years. “It’s on my radar to be here every single year, I don’t care where they move it to, I don’t care how small it may get, how large it may get, Real Men Cook is a part of my agenda on Father’s Day weekend,” West said. “They should be commended for putting together for 30 years a love fest, a food love fest, for the people of Chicago.” The Matriarch Behind It All Shares Her Vision for the Future Yvette Moyo, co-founder of Real Men Cook, launched the event with her former husband Kofi Moyo when she was just 35. 8 June 26-July 2, 2019

According to Moyo, at its peak the celebration generated a million dollars in revenue a year for several years and 13 cities hosted a Real Men Cook Father’s Day celebration between 1999 and 2006. “The power of the brand still lives all over the country. When I travel people are like when you gonna bring it back to New York because we still cook in our backyard,” Moyo said. Moyo attributes the decline of the Father’s Day celebration to a combination of a decline of black people who knew and valued the event in positions of authority within corporate America, a nationwide economic downturn, etc. She said starting in 2001 the celebration experienced a sharp decline in revenue from a million dollars to an estimated $400,000 and $300,000 the following year. “Next thing you know, it’s 2006, 2007 and it’s even getting worse. We did not decrease our staff, and we had already founded Real Men Charities, Inc. in 2003. And so, you know, we were advised to switch to the nonprofit as a way to keep doing our good work,” Moyo said. Real Men Cook Charities, Inc. has executed the Father’s Day celebration for the past 15 years. Last year, Moyo decided to purchase The Quarry Event Center, 2423 E.75th St., where she is president/ CEO in an attempt to take the Real Men Cook Charities, Inc. and the Real Men Cook brand in a new direction. The Quarry is home to an art gallery, men’s healing circles, a shared kitchen, event space, and will soon serve as a space for a youth summer camp for residents within a sixblock radius of the Quarry. With a building to execute new activities and a Father’s Day event legacy that’s become ingrained within the black community Moyo wondered if the 30th anniversary of the Real Men Cook Father’s Day celebration could be what she called “a great finale.” She said a final decision will be made in the coming weeks on how Real Men Cook will proceed moving forward. “The Quarry represents the spirit of Real Men Cook,” Moyo said. “Our work is really every day. And that’s building healthy families and communities with African American males involved. And now that we have a location that we own, it makes it much easier to serve the community every day.” If the 30th anniversary of the Real Men Cook Father’s Day celebration is indeed the last, Moyo wants to thank all of the new and long-standing supporters of the event and hopes to be invited to Real Men Cook style gatherings in the years to come. “You know once you create something that can last this long, I think you can give it to the people. And the people will accept it and be very creative about how they want to do their own real men cook,” Moyo said.

6/1-6/30 Unsung Bronzeville: A Musical History Exhibition Hosted By: Chicago Blues Museum Monday-Saturdays 9 a.m.-Closing Harold Washington Community College 30 E. Lake Street. 6/27 Vocalist Freddy Cole Quartet Hosted By: Jazz Showcase 8-9:30 p.m. Jazz Showcase | 806 S. Plymouth Ct. Tickets $24-$40 available via Eventbrite 6/28 Sounds of R&B and Spoken Word Contest Hosted By: MILE33 Entertainment 3825 S. Vincennes Tickets $20-$70 available via Eventbrite Afro Beats in Hyde Park Hosted By: The Promontory 10 p.m. The Promontory | 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Tickets $15-$20 available via Eventbrite 6/29 Snoop Dogg Hosted By: Uncle Snoop’s Army, Silver Wrapper and Concord Music Hall 8 p.m. Concord Music Hall 2047 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets $59 available at 6/29 Toronzo Cannon Blues Hosted By: Space 8 p.m. Space | 1245 Chicago Ave. Evanston, IL 6/29-6/30 Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash 2019 The Premier Hip Hop Music Festival in the Midwest Hosted By: SPKRBX 12 p.m. For Tickets or more information: 6/30 World Famous Gospel Brunch @ House of Blues Hosted by: Cricket Wireless 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. House of Blues 329 N. Deaborn Tickets $42.50 available via Ticketmaster


Art Tour Aims to Activate Cultural Spaces on West Side ing, organizing and partnering with area nonprofits for sponsorship, they revealed a side of the West Side in a way they’ve always seen it. To them, this was home. “All of us are really attached to the vision of mobilizing this community and really putting it on a map,” Williams said. “That’s what we always keep saying. We’re trying to put North Lawndale on the map, trying

By F. Amanda Tugade Contributing Writer For years, Catherine Hollis and her daughter, Catelen, passed by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fair Housing Exhibit Center in North Lawndale. Nestled on the corner of 16th Street and South Hamlin Avenue, the center – which is a part of the Dr. King Legacy Apartments – is rather small. The brick building blends in with the others around it; big glass windows are covered with white blinds, hiding what’s inside. “I’ve never been here,” said Catherine, as she sat on a fabric-covered bench inside the MLK Exhibit Center on June 8. Alongside her daughter and mother Anna Rembert, they were among many guests at the Art West Gallery Tour. The community museum was wrapped up in pieces and installments created by local artists, as well as photos of King, his work and his influence in Chicago.

“There’s a misconception that this place is not thriving and growing, but there are things happening all over North Lawndale at the moment. It’s just that folks aren’t tapped into it, and we’re trying to elevate the resources.”

to challenge people to actually step in and activate this new wave of supporting arts and culture spaces, especially on the West Side,” said Young, an Austin native. “A lot of times the city of Chicago, especially the West Side, gets a bad reputation, like negativity from the media, but there’s so many positive things that are in this neighborhood,” Catherine added. “And, this is one of them.” Aside from the Exhibit Center, the free tour – which included complimentary shuttle service – also stopped at the Legendary Art Gallery on West Madison Street and 345 Art Gallery on North Kedzie Avenue. Each spot offered a different showcase of art and performers.

“Summertime in Chicago is a huge deal,” Young said, adding Art West was a step away from the city’s long list of festiAs history tells it, King and his family vals and family-friendly activities. once lived in a rundown apartment buildInspired by the summer trolley tours in ing at 1550 S. Hamlin Ave., right where the the Bronzeville Art District, Young wanted Legacy Apartments and Exhibit Center are to bring a similar experience to the West now. He also came to Chicago to show the Side. deplorable living conditions and poverty Beyond that, she sought to cultivate a of African-Americans in the urban north and to display the segregation of housing place where young adults like herself and in northern cities; 1550 S. Hamlin was the her friends didn’t have to travel out of their only place in the North where Dr. King ever neighborhood or past city limits just to eat, drink, dance or hang out. Art West was lived. made for the millennials, for “the people “I’ve driven by many times, and I’ve al- who want to find something fun, and dope, ways wanted to know what’s in our com- and inspiring to be a part of,” Young said. munity,” said Catherine, a longtime resiYoung reached out to old friends like dent of North Lawndale. Apriel Campbell and Arriel Azadi Janae That’s a comment Alexie Young, direc- Williams, both of whom are also from North tor of the MLK Center, often hears, one that Lawndale. As creatives, the two shared usually follows closely behind a percep- Young’s mission and passion to create a tion about the West Side. Catherine and safe space in their community and change Young said that people forget about the the narrative of the West Side. They were West Side, and whenever it does come up, mindful to keep events like these accescrime and violence always take the spot- sible and affordable for their target audilight. ence. “The Art West Gallery Tours is going Through weeks of planning,

to expose people to what’s here and what can be here.”

With traffic-free trips to fun destinations like the ballpark, unlimited rides Saturday and Sunday for just $10, and free rides for up to three kids 11 and under with each adult through Labor Day, Metra is


June 26-July 2, 2019 9


New Nukkebbuak Women for Change and Friends of Dorothy Brown, “20th Annual Fashion Show. Pictured (left to right) are Annie Smith; Deanna Conn; Reather Lasley; Betty Millsap, Co-Chair: Ella Duke, Honoree; Lee Ella Caston, Honoree; Honorable Clerk Dorothy Brown; Regina King, Honoree; Toya Merriweather, Honoree; Laura Bryant, Chair; Karen Wells; Mary Melchior; and Maria Mathis. Photo By: Willis Jackson Sr. Peter Pan Studios Carolyn’s Kids Foundation held its annual awards presentation “Launch 100” for 8th grade students across the Chicagoland area. One hundred students were awarded $100 dollars each to be used toward the purchase of uniforms and to pay high school fees. The ceremony was held at Corliss High School and parents and friends filled the auditorium to support the By Carolyn Palmer recipients. Students were required to write an essay and receive a recommendation from a professional. Carrie Lyle Griffin Memorial Scholarships in the amounts of of $500.00 and $250.00 were awarded to mothers who were attending college. Carolyn’s Kids Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports elementary school students. The CEO is Carolyn Griffin Palmer, COO LaCael Palmer- Pratt and CFO Karilyn Palmer-Paschal. The 20th Anniversary Luncheon and Fashion Show presented by “The New Millennium, Women For Change” and the friends of Dorothy Brown Cook, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, was held at Georgio’s Banquets. Laura Bryant served as Chair and the “Bad Mama Jamma” Deborah Kimball Crosslin again worked the audience as the outstanding fashion commentator. Congratulations to the following award recipients: Toya Merriweather, Community Service; Evangelist Samella McGee-Alfred, Religion; Ella Dukes, Excellence in Fashion; and Ellen Turner, Business Leadership .

Carolyn’s Kids Foundation “Launch 100” Class of 2019.

Photo by Russell Barnes

Photo by Russell Barnes The Carrie Lyle Griffin Memorial Scholarships were presented to mothers continuing their education. Pictured (left to right) are Shallie C. Griffin, Carolyn Griffin Palmer, Marcia Petit, recipient, Jewel Minor, recipient, Judge Freddrenna Lyle and Rael Griffin. 10 June 26 - July 2, 2019

Photo by Russell Barnes Carolyn’s Kids Foundation board members (left to right): Carolyn Griffin Palmer, CEO; Karilyn Palmer-Paschal, CFO; Carolyn Curry; Franchesca Little; Dyanna Lewis; Judge Freddrenna Lyle; Doris Brown; T’Kira Siler-Wilkerson; Alanna Mays; Hubert Jackson; Valerie Stoudemire; Tess Jones; and LaCael Palmer-Pratt, COO.

MONEY Tax Tips for Starting a Business By Constant Watson III Contributing Writer Understanding your tax obligation is one key to business success. When you start a business, you need to know about income taxes, payroll taxes and much more. Here are some IRS tax tips that can help you get your business off to a good start: Business Structure. An early choice you need to make is to decide on the type of structure for your business. The most common types are sole proprietor, partnership and corporation. The type of business you choose will determine which tax forms you file. Business Taxes. There are four general types of business taxes. They are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax. In most cases, the types of tax your business pays depends on the type of business structure you set up. You may need to make estimated tax payments. If you do, you can use IRS Direct Pay to make them. It’s the fast, easy and secure way to pay from your checking or savings account. Employer Identification Number (EIN). You may need to get an EIN for federal tax purposes. Search “do you need an EIN” on to find out if you need this number. Accounting Method. An accounting method is a set of rules that you use to determine when to report income and expenses. You must use a consistent method. The two that are most common are the cash and accrual methods. Under the cash method, you normally report income and deduct expenses in the year that you receive

or pay them. Under the accrual method, you generally report income and deduct expenses in the year that you earn or incur them. This is true even if you get the income or pay the expense in a later year. Do not comingle your personal account with your business checking account. Deposit all your business income, including cash receipts, in the business checking account. Also pay all your bills by checks and/or your business checking account debit card. Make sure you keep all receipts for any payments made with cash. It is also very important to have some type of bookkeeping/software program for your business. As a business owner, you need to keep track of your income and expenses to monitor your profitability. Remember, you must give an independent contractor Form 1099-Misc by January 31st of the following tax year. This rule applies if the total amount you pay them is $600 and more. Get all the basics of starting a business on at the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center. If you are delinquent in your filings, make sure you contact a professional to help you get compliant. Remember, for every tax problem, there’s a solution. Constant W. Watson III, CPA, CTRS, is both a Certified Public Accountant and one of only ten Certified Tax Resolution Specialists in the State of Illinois certified by the ASTPS. Watson has more than 30 years of income tax and accounting experience. You can hear his radio program, “Watson On Taxes,” every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. by tuning in to AM 1390. For more information, visit or call (708) 206-9900.

Tax Planning Before Tax Preparation! By Carla Madison, EA

“When you do the things in the present that you can see, you are shaping the future that you are yet to see.” - Idowu Koyenikan A few months ago, I was a guest on Chicago’s Intellectual Radio. The show’s host invited me to discuss taxes and strategies available to the average taxpayer as we approached the beginning of yet another tax season. One of my closing suggestions while on the show was for every taxpayer to strongly consider speaking with or seeing their tax professional at least on a quarterly basis…to which one listener replied with a one-word question – really? By tax professional, I mean an Enrolled Agent, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or a Tax Attorney. Anyone with lesser credentials may or may not be able to offer appropriate guidance depending on their level of expertise. Why (you may ask; like the curious listener) should I speak to my tax professional several times a year? Because life happens all year and those events associated with the many transitions our paths take have tax implications of which you need to be aware. Communicating with your tax professional during the year and addressing questions and concerns presently – while it’s happening, can prove to be a wonderful strategy in guarding against pitfalls of the future. Take this into account… …Summer is upon us, have you thought about taking money out of your retirement account to fund a project or an event? Have you considered the tax implications of such a transaction? Taking money out of your retirement account prematurely is the number one infraction I witness during tax season without question! Many taxpayers run low on the cash (especially in the summer and fall) they need to fund home projects, relocation efforts, medical bills, family

cations, new businesses, etc. The decision to remedy the problem is almost always taking money prematurely out of their retirement nest egg. The problem is, if you have not reached 59 ½ years of age, you will sustain a severe penalty for the distribution. Please understand you will be taxed on the entire amount of the withdrawal! This is chiefly the one thing most taxpayers don’t understand. Most rest easy, as they complete the paperwork for the early distribution, in the fact that 20% of the requested amount will be withheld for tax purposes. While this is a move in the right direction where tax planning is concerned, it does not satisfy the entire tax liability for the transaction in many cases. Based on tax law, two major things work against the premature distribution of retirement monies. First, as mentioned above you are taxed on all the money you take out at your effective tax bracket. For instance, let’s say you withdraw $50,000 from your 401k, you will be taxed on $50,000 not on the $40,000 you received after the 20% withholding (20% of $50,000 = $10,000; $50,000$10,000=$40,000). If you figure you are in the 24% tax bracket, your tax on this distribution is $12,000 (24% of $50,000). Second, there is a 10% additional penalty assessed on the entire amount withdrawn, that comes to $5000. So, all in all your entire tax bill for this withdrawal is $17,000 ($12,000+$5000). However, remember you did have 20% withheld which helps but does not alleviate this terrific tax bill…your balance then would be $7000 ($17,000-$10,000) and in the end, your effective tax rate for this transaction is a whopping 34%! Therefore, many of you who do not engage in tax planning by contacting your tax professional before the transaction, are left with an ugly tax amount due to the IRS and possibly the state. Please stop here and make a decision to call your tax pro before tapping into your hard-earned retirement account. This can all be avoided if you simply borrow (if allowed) from your retirement plan instead of taking an early withdrawal. Borrowing allows you to withdraw much of what

you may need (in many cases 50% of the account value) without having to pay taxes or penalties on the amount. Your loan can be paid back in monthly deductions from your paycheck over a period of 5 years at a small rate of interest (typically 3-4%), all of which you pay yourself back by the deductions going right back into the retirement plan for your benefit. That said, provided there are no missed payments and no job loss, there is no 20% withholding, no tax bill, & no 10% penalty, For short-term loans where you need the money fast, this is a very viable option. This is why you need to speak with your tax professional. Gently related, here is a true account of a taxpayer who did not know the importance of contacting a tax professional before deciding what to do upon embarking on a major life event. Recently, I met a young lady who inherited a sizeable estate from her aunt. A Thrift Savings Plan was bequeathed to her to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because she did not get any professional direction and was working against the clock, she made a quick decision to transfer the funds to her personal account. This generated a taxable event and ultimately, she was met with a huge tax bill. Within minutes of chatting with her, the direction she needed was assessed. She should have rolled over all funds to an inheritance IRA (her only option as qualified accounts go). This step would have afforded her the opportunity to avoid any taxation. Therefore, tax planning is of the utmost importance and why you want to seek the advice of your chosen professional during the year, not just during the tax season while tax preparation is underway. I advise quarterly consultations, if nothing else, you and your tax professional can catch up on what has happened in your life for the last three months. The sharing may reveal some possible tax exposure…really. Carla Madison, EA Madison Financial Solutions, LLC 773-239-6100 June 26-July 2, 2019 11

12 VOICES On the Front Porch: the Tassel is Worth the Hassle “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” - Malcolm X By Shanita Baraka Akintonde June is a month that holds a special place in the hearts of black folks. Calendar days are filled with Juneteenth jamborees and Black Music Month merrymakings. It is also the time of year for graduations— from pre-school to high school, as well as college. Pomp and circumstance. Mothers wear pumps. Fathers pump prideful fists due to the circumstances. Class valedictorians deliver speeches that give validation to hard work. In black communities many of these festivities stop after 12th grade, however. College matriculation is another subject. Literally. For many, the idea of higher education is equivalent to issuing a self-administered colonoscopy exam—a lot of discomfort with no guarantee of a successful outcome. But there is one distinct difference between a colonoscopy exam and college—higher education graduates are guaranteed to earn significantly more over their lifetime than their non-graduate counterparts. While only 19% of blacks were reported to have at least a bachelor’s degree in 2018, the number is rising. Specialty schools, baccalaureate programs, and colleges that primarily offer associate degrees—have seen black representation increase, sometimes dramatically.

creasingly competitive college admissions process. Despite myriad challenges that face all college hopefuls, students of color who manage to fight their way onto college campuses, are often also forced to face double scrutiny. Frequent qualifiers are made, something their white counterparts do not face. Affirmative action is asked about; privilege passes. The admissions scandal had one benefit. It placed hypocrisy’s long-held heyday in privileged communities in public view. Invisible handshakes were revealed; helicopter parenting was put into reverse. But this dishonor has done little to impact those Americans whose pants aren’t lined with enough pennies to donate dollars for new buildings and endowed chairs. Regardless, black students continue to hit pay dirt. They take the mud life throws at them and use their college degree to plant the seeds of success. Here’s how: 1) Happier Lives̶ Education opens doors both intellectually and intuitively, for career and life. Studies show that college graduates lead more stable, productive and happy lives. 2) Family Benefits—Higher-paying jobs that include benefits require a bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or professional degree. The salaries can include health care, retirement opportunities, investments, and travel perks.

This number may be bolstered even more due to the recent overture made by billionaire and Morehouse man Robert Smith. It was Smith’s generous spirit and nostalgic nature that prompted his promise to repay the entire student loan debt accrued by the nearly 400 graduates of his alma mater’s Class of 2019. His action has changed the lives of black families for generations to come, as the ability to start life with a college degree in one hand and no debt in the other, is huge. For starters, it shifts the current paradigm that shows 72 percent of black students go into debt to pay for their educations, compared to 56 percent of white students, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education.

3) Job satisfaction—I call this one, the ‘no alarm clock’ life. As I share with my students, the difference between job satisfaction and job detestation is the need to set an alarm clock every night. When you love what you do, your body reflexively wakes itself every morning. Higher incomes, employee benefits, and promotion opportunities usually equate to this inspired action.

College educated individuals pursue careers, not jobs. Those who pursue higher education don’t seek answers. They look for questions that have yet to be asked. College graduates possess a toolkit of mental dexterity that can be snapped open amidst managerial meltdowns. A good college education not only forces one to change the way he looks at the world; it causes the world they see to change.

But just like any case where one stands in the shadow of victory after a challenge has been overcome, the benefits of a college education outweigh the obstacles. The tassel is worth the hassle.

4) Professional Purpose—Obtaining a college degree often requires people to put their personal mettle to the pedal. Whether dealing with financial problems or finicky professors, college matriculation is not for the faint of heart.

Shanita Baraka Akintonde is an award-winning author, podcaster, professional speaker, professor, wife, and mother propelled by love. Her second book, Leading from the Heart, was released in September 2018 and her third book, Hear Me ROARR is set for release in Fall 2019. Send your column ideas to You can also reach her on Linked In at Professor Shanita Akintonde, www.

At Your Fingertips!

It must not be forgotten, however, that the path toward the hallowed halls of higher education have not been traditionally paved in gold for students of color. This fact was forced to the forefront by the recent college admissions scandal. The case shone a light on the racial and economic disparities that plaque access to higher education. Rich kids have parents who utilize their bevy of bucks to pay for expensive college preparatory courses and on-call counselors, both of which give wealthy students an advantage in the in-


12 June 26-July 2, 2019

Equal Opportunity By Carl West 12 Voices There needs to be Equal Opportunity when discussing issues affecting America. I remember a few years ago when CNN’s Soledad O’Brien did two deep-dive studies. One, Being Black in America and the other Being Hispanic in America. The two sensational mini-documentaries focused on how blacks and Latinos have struggled in America. The pieces pointed out the good, the bad and the ugly. But I remember waiting for a third content-driven piece to flash across CNN. It never happened. I called CNN and actually sent Soledad an email asking her when can we expect to see Being White in America? Her response was, ‘there are no plans to produce such a piece.’ I was like, really? I replied: You showed the many sides of blacks and Latinos in America, but you didn’t profile the most logical commonality, which is white America. The conversation ended. This has plagued me for years. I’ve noticed that most times when there are close look miniseries or TV programs or even movies focusing on black pain, there’s never a hardcore focus on how white America has contributed to some of these very disturbing and disastrous occurrences. White America gets a pass in terms of showing how they’ve caused catastrophic tragedies in this country. And it’s been done all for either greed, bigotry, ignorance or all three! There are always studies on black poverty, black dysfunction, black homelessness, black violence, black lack of education, etc... There was a recent article written about the life expectancy between blacks who live in urban communities versus whites who live in rural or “Alice in Wonderland” environments. But the main attention was focused on blacks not being....... whatever. There was very little attention on how and why black life has become so tainted through decades of racism caused by white bigots. My last point, I was at an event yesterday, and this is pretty typical of these kinds of gatherings: It was called Advancing Economic Equity. There were blacks on the panel but it was attended by mostly whites. These blacks on the panel seemed afraid to mention the word “racism” when listing all the causes of economic inequity within urban communities. Now, there were slight mentions of white America’s long history of racial oppression, but it was a soft step. I decided to remain quiet on this outing, but it bothered me that these four black panelists didn’t attack the concerted industry of bigotry. Again, there was one main point made by a panelist that I thought gave me pleasure but it was noticeable that maybe these blacks didn’t want to disturb the present apple cart. I’ve decided that I’ll not engage in any more one-sided panels, summits, or conferences that do not ask the question or bring attention to white America’s massive role in urban poverty, police brutality, unemployment, housing disadvantages, false imprisonment, workplace prejudice, inadequate schools, etc. The focus cannot be on blacks and their inability to progress in America without bringing much-needed attention and admittance by white liberals or conservatives who’ve used institutional racism to stagnate the progressive flow of black lives that matter. This is an issue that needs to draw just as many headlines as urban violence. We cannot continue having post discussions about black dysfunction while not focusing on how white America has caused the majority of the ills affecting not only black America but America. White America has to accept this reality and attempt to have an open and real dialogue. It’s imperative! White America must speak out against white America!




Funeral Home TOPPS

OPPORTUNITIES FOR OPERATION TECHNICIANS AND ELECTRICAL & INSTRUMENT TECHNICIANS IN MORRIS, IL LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world’s largest producer of polypropylene compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2018, LyondellBasell was named to Fortune magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” More information about LyondellBasell can be found at Candidates should apply online, complete a profile and submit a resume to: Process Operation Technician – Requisition Number 70855 Maintenance (E&I) Technician – Requisition Number 70860 LyondellBasell is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer

NOTICE INVITATION TO BID TO METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT OF GREATER CHICAGO Sealed proposals, endorsed as below, will be deposited in the sealed bid depository located in the lobby of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Administration Building, 100 East Erie Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, from the date of the Invitation to Bid, up to 11:00 A.M. on the bid opening date, and will be opened publicly by the Director of Procurement and Materials Management or her designee at 11:00 A.M. on the stated bid opening date below for: CONTRACT 18-913-21 RAILROAD TRACK IMPROVEMENTS IN THE STICKNEY SERVICE AREA Bid Opening:

July 16, 2019

Compliance with the District’s Affirmative Action Ordinance Revised Appendix D, Appendices C, K, and V, and the Multi-Project Labor Agreement are required on this Contract. *************************************************************************************************** The above is an abbreviated version of the Notice - Invitation to Bid. A full version which includes a brief description of the project and/or service can be found on the District’s website,; click the Contracts and Proposal quick link on the District’s Home page. Go to Contracts Currently Being Advertised and click for further information.

HAMILTON Antonio L. Hamilton.......…..Wake was held: Saturday June 22,, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. @ Taylor Funeral Home Ltd., 63 E. 79th St., Funeral Service was held: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Cremation: Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300 GREER

Online applications must be submitted online by July 10, 2019 for consideration.


Dion Topps........….. Wake was held: Friday, June 21, 2019; 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Funeral was held: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. @ New Life Covenant Church , 7600 Dobson Ave., Chicago, IL.Interment: Mt. Hope Cemetery, Chicago, IL; Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300

June 1 thru July 4: Fireworks Safety Month To advertise in the

Claudette Greer.......….. Wake was held: Saturday, June 22, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Funeral was held: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. @ Omega Baptist Church, 4621 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60609. Entombment: Mount Hope Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois. Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300 LEFLORE Alonzo LeFlore.......….. Wake will be held: Thursday, June 27, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Funeral will be held: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. @ Trinity United Church of Christ, 410 West 95th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628. Interment: Restvale Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois. Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300 COLE Jimmie D Cole.......….. Wake was held: Saturday, June 22, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Funeral was held: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. @ Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church, 8210 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60617. Interment: Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois. Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300

Funeral Directory Call Classifieds 312-225-2400 to advertise



“The Home of Personal Service” 7030 S. Halsted St.

318 E. 71st St. 5911 W. Madison St.



(773)723-4400 Taylor Funeral HOME, LTD.

63 East 79th Street Chicago, IL 60619 & 5350 W. North Ave. 773-488-7300 Chicago, IL 60636

(773)846-6133 (773)626-4222 GOLDEN GATE FUNERAL HOME

2036 W. 79th St.

(773)846-7900 “Families Come First at Golden Gate”

CALAHAN Funeral Home XIAO Jiaqiao Xiao. ….. Remembrance was held: Monday, June 17, 2019 @ Calahan Funeral Home. Interment. PRIVATE. Arrangements Entrusted To: Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL (773) 723.4400 HOWARD-WHITE Mary L. Howard-White. …..Visitation was held: Calahan Funeral Home and Gravesite Service was held: Thursday, June 20, 2019. Interment. Cedar Park Cemetery. Arrangements Entrusted To: Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL (773) 723.4400

At Your Finge The Chicago


Defender is Published Every DIGITAL DAILY W W W. C HWednesday I C AG O D E F E N D E R . C OM

Seraphine Smith. ….. Funeral was held: Saturday, June 22, 2019 @ Calahan Funeral Home. Interment. Evergreen Cemetery. Arrangements Entrusted To: Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL (773) 723.4400 SHORTER

Jaquan T. Shorter. ….. Visitation was held: Saturday, June 22, 2019 @ Calahan Funeral Home. Funeral was held: Monday, June 22, 2019 @ Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, 4600-22 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Chicago, IL. Interment. Mt. Hope Cemetery. Arrangements Entrusted To: Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL (773) 723.4400

At Your Fingertips!

Specifications, proposal forms and/or plans may be obtained from the Department of Procurement & Materials Management, Room 508, 100 East Erie Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, Monday - Friday, between 8:45 A.M. and 4:15 P.M. Documents, unless stated above to the contrary, will be mailed in response to a fax request (312/751-3042). The vendor may also download specifications, proposal forms and/or plans online from the District’s website, No fee is required for the contract documents unless stated above.

Chicago and suburbs $1

Volume 114 No. 7 | June 12-18, 2019


Charles Moore........….. Wake will be held: Thursday, June 27, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Funeral will be held: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. @ First Timothy Missionary Baptist Church, 5533 South Wentworth Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60621. Interment: TO BE DETERMINED.

Fathers, Real Men

Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300

DIGITAL DAILY 312 225-2400 Community P5 | City.Life.Style: P7 | Music P9



All Contracts for the Construction of Public Works are subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (820 ILCS 130/1-et seq.), where it is stated in the Invitation to Bid Page.


Revelle Henry.......…..Wake will be held: Friday June 28,, 2019; 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. @ Taylor Funeral Home Ltd., 63 E. 79th St., Funeral will be held: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Interment: Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, 20953 West Hoff Road, Elwood, Illinois 60421. Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300

W W W. C H I C AG O D E F E N D E R . C OM

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago reserves the right to reject any or all Proposals if deemed in the public’s best interest.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago By Darlene A. LoCascio Director of Procurement and Materials Management

At Your Fingertips!



Catherine Jefferson.......….. Wake will be held: Saturday, June 29, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Funeral will be held: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. @ Progressive Baptist Church, 3658 South Wentworth Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60609. Interment: Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois. Arrangements Entrusted To: Taylor Funeral Home, 63 East 79th. Street, Chicago, IL 60619: (773) 488.7300


WILLIAMS Mattie Lee Williams. ….. Funeral Services: Thursday, June 27, 2019, 6:00PM-7:00PM @ Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, 4600-22 S. Martin Luther King Dr., Chicago, IL. E. 77th Street, Chicago, IL. Interment. Friday, June 28, 2019; Lincoln Cemetery. Arrangements Entrusted To: Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL (773) 723.4400

114 No.

22 4 | May

- 28,


Bring the Light Volume

rbs $1

and subu


9: P13 on the M Prayer DER.CO P9 | ODEFEN CHICAG


This week’s best picks are...

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AP Pho

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June 26-July 2, 2019 13


Faith for Your

By Marnita Coleman In the beginning, when God made this world, He made a masterpiece: man, created in the image and likeness of God and wrapped him in bodily form. They were male and female, two entities, yet one; just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three personalities, yet one God, individuals but also a family. Oh, how the heavenly host must have watched in awe and wonder, unable to fathom what God would do next. Then, He blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign….” (Genesis 1:26) Look at the power and authority the Lord instilled in His masterpiece. He created holy, self-governed rulers and made them a family. The family was designed to be a dominant influence in the earth. Adam’s disobedience caused the transfer of authority to come into the hands of a destructive force, formulating a fallen world. So here we are today between two kingdoms. One is the kingdom of light and the other, the kingdom of darkness. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was terrified. I saw the pitfalls of raising a family in a fallen world. I didn’t have a support system to rely upon. My mom was deceased, my father was ashamed because I was not married, my grandparents lived in another state, and I had no mentor. I didn’t have a lot of experience with children and I had zero knowledge of how to care for a baby. I read everything I could on parenthood. I was determined to give my family the best shot at life. 14 June 26 - July 2, 2019

If you don’t have a vision for your family, you may fall prey to the ideals of the world. There are numerous videos, books, conferences, and so-called parenting gurus. To make the good choice, you have to know where you are headed. I decided to raise my family in the Christian faith. I personally believed in God, but I was not living up to His standards. I was still slipping and sliding, doing whatever I was grown enough to do. But, I knew better was possible, and I wanted it for my family; so, I prayed and asked God to be my help and support; and He answered me! He directed the paths of my children, including daycare, friends, schools, neighborhoods, driving, activities, and so on. As we look about today, we can see the desolation of the family. Fathers are not in the home, mothers are overwhelmed, and children are suffering from lack of direction. It appears the world is upside down, and goodwill and love are dwindling. If we refocus and allow God to lead us, we will win in the end! Psalm 127 is speaking loudly to me right now. Like GPS, God desires to get you to your destination. He’s shouting, “turn around!” God created your family and knows the path your family needs to take. You are equipped for the journey. King Solomon said, “If God doesn’t build the house [or family], the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?”

God is saying, I got you! Stop trying to raise your family all by yourself. I know the plans I have for you, plans that are good and not evil to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) There will be some rough terrain ahead. Don’t worry, I have been this way before. As a parent, don’t throw your hands in the air and give up. Fight for your family because you all were predestined to win. It’s a fixed fight. Take the shield of faith, which is the word of God and speak it out of your mouth to create the visual you want to see, just as God did when He created the world; we have the same power to rule and reign. I was a single parent before I got married. It was tough at times. But, I stayed with God, and He kept us from falling. Give God thanks and ask Him for guidance. He will fortify your family Period. Nothing is too hard or impossible with God. Be patient, He is working it out.

Marnita Coleman is an author and host of The Marnita Show, a parenting show heard daily across the globe. For more information, log onto

Marnita Coleman

COMMUNITY CALENDAR 6/26 Dances from West Africa Hosted By: The Chicago Park District 6-7:30 p.m. Wentworth Park 3770 S. Wentworth Free and open to the Public 6/27 City of Chicago’s Small Business Center on the Road Expo Hosted By: City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection 5-9 p.m. 1871 & the Mart 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212 Free Registration via Eventbrite 2019 Chicago State of the Black Tech Ecosystem Hosted by: Black Tech Mecca 6-9 p.m. Google Chicago 320 N. Morgan Street Free Registration via Eventbrite Exuberus Free Teen night at the Art Institute of Chicago Hosted By: Art Institute Teen Art Institute of Chicago 6-10 p.m. Art Institute of Chicago 159 E. Monroe St. Free Registration via Eventbrite The Chississippi Mixtape Hosted By: Links Hall 8-10 p.m. Links Hall 3111 N. Western Ave. Tickets $10-$40 available via Eventbrite Movies in the Park “Black Panther” Hosted By: The Chicago Park District 8:30-10:44 p.m. Austin Town Hall Park 5610 W. Lake Street 6/28-7/2 Rainbow PUSH Citizenship Education Fund & PUSH Excel Annual International Convention Hosted By: Rainbow PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund 6/28 7 a.m.-7/2 10 p.m. Sheraton Grand Chicago 301 E. North Water Street Various ticket types available via Eventbrite 6/29 Chicago Black Entrepreneurs Festival Hosted By: Nosey i Corp 11 a.m.-8 p.m. House of Hope 752 E. 114th Street

Free Registration via Eventbrite Juneteenth Family Celebration Hosted by: Burst Into Books 12-5 p.m. Dan Ryan Woods 8700 S. Western Ave. Grove #8 7th Annual Remarkable Conference “Be Remarkable” Hosted By: P.U.M.P.S. Inc. Consulting 12-5 p.m. Exclusive Bronzeville/Hyde Park location Tickets $69-$99 available via Eventbrite Flashlight Tour of Jackson Park Hosted By: Hyde Park Historical Society 8:45 p.m. Jackson Park 1793 E. Hayes

Save energy and save instantly on energy-efficient LED bulbs. Just look for the ComEd “Lower Price” sticker at participating retailers. It’s a simple way to do a little good for the planet, even as you save for a little adventure.

Bike Tour: Visualizing the 1919 Riots in Today’s Chicago Hosted By: Newberry Library in partnership with Blackstone Bicycle Works 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Starting at 35th Street Beach House Free registration via Eventbrite Digital Business_The End Game Hosted By: Krimson Connection 6-10 p.m. Gallery Guichard 436 E. 47th Street Free Registration available via Eventbrite

Find special discounts at your local retailer.

Bubbles’ Amazing Circus Hosted By: Nicole Royster 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. 1215 W. Jackson Blvd. Free and open to the public 6/30 Do the Right Thing 30th Anniversary Block Party Hosted By: Rebuild Foundation 12-10 p.m. Stony Island Arts Bank 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Free registration via Eventbrite 50th Annual Chicago Pride Parade 12 p.m. Starting at Broadway and Montrose, Ending at Diversey and Sheridan For More information:

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June 26-July 2, 2019 15

16 June 26-July 2, 2019

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