Teesee’s Town: Chris Benson to keynote Donors Recognition Day at Woodson Library

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“Donors Recognition Day,” on Saturday, at Woodson Library, 95th and Halsted, will feature Christopher Benson, associate director of African American Studies and Journalism at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus as the key

Donors Recognition Day, on Saturday, at Woodson Library, 95th and Halsted, will feature Christopher Benson, associate director of African-American Studies and Journalism at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus as the keynoter. Sponsored by the Chicago Public Library’s Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Benson will speak about the topic, “Advocacy: The Challenge of the Once and Future Black Press,” the Harsh Memorial Lecture. The program will run from 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Benson (my Facebook friend), co-writer and associate producer of WTTW/11’s 2005 documentary, "Paper Trail: 100 Years of the Chicago Defender," won the Peter Lisagor Award that year for exemplary journalism (documentary) by the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in journalism at the University of Illinois and his J.D. at Georgetown University. He has worked as a city hall reporter for local radio and as features editor and Washington editor for Ebony. Additionally, he has written for Chicago, Savoy, Jet and Crisis magazines, and has contributed to The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and Reader’s Digest.

The event will also feature a special award presentation to Prof. Jacqueline Goldsby, associate professor in English Language & Literature at the University of Chicago and director of its “Mapping the Stacks,” an archival project that she started in 2005 with a group of students who began working with manuscripts in the Harsh Collection and with the DuSable Museum’s manuscript and moving image archives. In 2006, the Mellon Foundation awarded Goldsby a $49,000 Officer’s Grant for additional archival work. It allowed her and the team of eight Ph.D. students to begin sorting and organizing more than 100,000 historical images in the Chicago Defender, a publication Goldsby calls, “the most important African-American newspaper of this century.”

Also, a Ceremony of Honor will recognize donors of manuscript collections “for their role in preserving African-American History.” They are Brenetta Howell Barrett, Leroy Bryant, the Coalition of Save “The Met,” the Rev. Addie Wyatt, Nathan McGill, the Marion Perkins Family, Robert A. Sengstacke, Lorin Nails-Smoote and the Chicago Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association. Free admission. Call (312) 745-2080 for more info!

For Moms – The Ladies of Eta Xi Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. are in final countdown mode for Saturday’s “Rhomania,” their Ninth Annual Pre-Mothers’ Day Scholarship & Fashion Show Luncheon at the Lexington House, 7717 W. 95th St., in southwest suburban Hickory Hills. The afternoon of “fine cuisine, fine fashion, fun and vendors” kickstarts at 11:30 a.m., so says Darlene Jones and Onetta D. Outlaw, luncheon co-chairs. Event tickets are $55 and can be reserved by calling Linda D. Brown, chapter basileus, at (773) 651-8044.

For Moms II – Vocalists Antoine Drain and Greg Gibbs will each sing tributes to a couple of legendary soul crooners, Barry White and Luther Vandross, on Saturday at “I’ll Always Love my Momma,” a pre-Mothers’ Day concert and dinner, at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Dr. Also featured as special guests: The Intruders, The Original Blue Notes, The Elationz and The Connection. Sam Chapman, deejay, will emcee the event sponsored by Krunchtime Productions. Doors open at 6 p.m.; showtime, 8 p.m. sharp! The first 50 mothers to arrive will receive a rose! For $35 tickets, call (773) 457-6975.

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