Teesee’s Town: Justice Blache Manning, four others, honored at DuSable gala

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Star Night – Blanche Manning, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois who presides over cases in one of the country’s busiest courts, is among a quintet who will receive distinguished African American History M

Star Night – Blanche Manning, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois who presides over cases in one of the country’s busiest courts, is among a quintet who will receive distinguished African American History Makers Awards from DuSable Museum at its annual black-tie gala, “Night of 100 Stars,” on Saturday. Joining Justice Manning, who is both a jazz musician (saxophone) and jazz enthusiast, will be honorees Harry Porterfield, Melvin Van Peebles, Rev. Dr. Charles Hayes and Secretary of State Jesse White.

In 1994, Justice Manning accepted an appointment by President Bill Clinton as district court jurist for the Northern District of Illinois and began a lifetime position. Her role in high-profile cases is chronicled in numerous newspapers and books. She has played in a number of jazz bands, including the all women‘s KRC Ensemble and regularly assembles her own band, Diversity, composed of musicians of diverse backgrounds. Manning and her husband of over 50 years, William, have raised six nieces and nephews.

Saturday’s gala also includes a special performance by Lee England Jr., the youthful freestyle virtuoso violinist. Proceeds from the $300 ticket benefits DuSable’s exhibits and education programs. Honorary chairs: Janet Langhart Cohen and William Cohen. Call (773) 947-0600.

Heritage Happenin’s – In celebration of African American History Month, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will host a concert on Feb. 25 in the East Room of the White House honoring Stevie Wonder. He receives the second annual Gershwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Library of Congress. The concert willl be broadcast Feb. 26 on PBS as part of its “In Performance at the White House” series. Tune in!

Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church presents its annual Black History Program on Sunday, 1:30 p.m., while also celebrating its 40th anniversary. Come on out and partake in a fabulous creole buffet when Flavor Restaurant (in suburban Flossmoor) hosts “Fat Tuesday” on Feb. 24 featuring live jazz with the Bobby Lewis Trio, a mask contest (winner receives free dinner for two), complimentary beads and masks and loads and loads of fun – all for only a $25 cover charge. Call (708) 798-3220 for reservations.

B’Day Bash! – Larry Huggins, major domo of Riteway-Huggins Construction Services, marked his 59th year with family and some special friends at a Sunday celebration hosted by who Larry unabashedly refers to as “the love of his life,” WVON’s Emilie McKendall. The b’day bash was held in the 16-room, 10,000 squarefoot Plainfield home of Hank and Zara Johnson.

And among some of the party guests (we ate, we drank, we played bid whist, we danced, we visited and we partied hearty!) – Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd), Alderwoman Carrie Austin (34th), the Todd Strogers (he’s the Cook County board president; she’s Jeanine), Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, Tanya and Greg Cohn, Jerry and Debra Turner, Dr. Carol Adams, Ann Hinton, Merry Green, Jerome Butler, Diann Bishop, Bill Garth, Everett Rand, Chille Chiles, Bruce Lake, Michael and Diana Scott, Claude and Trudy Murrell, Lynn and George Williams, Ralph Hughes, Sam Balark, Louanner Peters, Emmett Vaughn and more!

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