Teesee’s Town: Bronzeville Cultural Fest salutes actor, film director Bill Duke

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A gala tribute to and works by acclaimed award-winning director, actor, producer, writer and film mentor Bill Duke tops the Third Annual Bronzeville Cultural Festival, June 18- 21, hosted by Third World Press Foundation.

A gala tribute to and works by acclaimed award-winning director, actor, producer, writer and film mentor Bill Duke tops the Third Annual Bronzeville Cultural Festival, June 18- 21, hosted by Third World Press Foundation.

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Bill Duke

The free event, also featuring the Bronzeville Film Festival and Bronzeville Book Fair, honors Bronzeville’s cultural heritage while affirming the outstanding African-American contribution to Chicago’s rich artistic and literary foundation. Themed Reel Color, Real Words: A Mosaic of African-American History & Film, BCF begins Thursday at Harold Washington Cultural Center with “A Star-Studded Gala & Award Ceremony” (tickets required) with Duke as special guest and featuring Bronzeville’s own independent hit film, Fassy Tails, a coming-of-age movie about teen pregnancy. Previous guests include Tim and Daphne Reid, Harry Lennix, Lynn Whitfield and Avery Brooks.

Standing an imposing 6’6, Duke became familiar to moviegoers in "Car Wash" where he portrayed a fierce young Black Muslim revolutionary. As the action-film genre became popular, he portrayed a myriad of tough guy roles, chiefly in "Commando," "Predator," "Action Jackson," "Menace II Society," "Payback," "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Get Rich or Die Tryin’." He began directing with "A Rage in Harlem," "Deep Cover," "Hoodlum," "The Cemetery Club" and "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit." For TV, Duke directed "The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery." He continues to act and direct for both the small and silver screens and is a mentor for young African-Americans aspiring to work in the performance arts. TV appearances include "Lost," "Battlestar Galactic," "Fastlane," "Baisden After Dark" and "Street Money."

BCF workshops, screenings, open mics and poetry slams on Friday and Saturday will be held at the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, 700 E. Oakwood Blvd., and King High School. Outdoor screenings are planned for Sunday evening at Mandrake Park, 900 E. Pershing, and Dunbar Park, 3001 S. King Dr. The Bronzeville Book Fair at CCICS will feature readings and signings by well- known writers, book exhibits and workshops on writing and publishing. Special guests: Bernardine Dohrn, author and university professor, and State Sen. Rickey Hendon. Call (773) 651-0700, ext. 25, or email ccompton@thirdworldpressinc. com.

Giving Back – Atty. Chaz (Mrs. Roger) Ebert, a ’69 grad of Crane High School, along with the Ebert Foundation presented 28 Crane grads with $50,000 in scholarships during ceremonies at Malcolm X College where she was the guest speaker.

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Attorney Chaz Ebert

For the first time, the ceremony was held at Malcolm X, and students and teachers marched from Crane to the college, a joint effort involving Runako Robinson, counseling department chair, and Mr. and Mrs. Larry Waites, scholarship committee co-chairs, who determined the recipients. Scholarship requirements: complete an application, provide transcripts and GPA, and write an essay.

Among colleges the students will attend are Howard Univ., Ball State Univ., Southern Ill. Univ., Kentucky State Univ., Aurora Univ., and Univ. of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Attorney Ebert also sponsored a class trip to Springfield for the grads. And more: Crane’s class of 1969 will hold its 40th class reunion June 26–28. E-mail cranehighschool69@yahoo.com for more information.

Newsy Names – Hats off to Don Moore on being named president of Burrell Communications’ new interactive division, Burrell Digital.

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Don Moore

He will draw on a wealth of experience garnered during a dynamic career at Google to lead the expansion of Burrell’s current digital offerings. The new division will offer strategy, integration, creative services, content development, analytics and deployment, says Mc-Ghee Williams Osse, Burrell’s co-CEO. Moore was Google’s agency team leader for the Central and Western US.

Congrats to Shamontiel L. Vaughn, Chicago Defender Web editor, whose hard work and creativity have resulted in our Web site, http://www.chicagodefender.com, achieving “top 20 listing” by the Community Media Workshop commissioned by Chicago Community Trust. Check out our online edition every day in addition to our blogs: Kat’s Corner (Kathy Chaney), In Wendell’s Words (Wendell Hutson), Message from Montie (Shamontiel L. Vaughn), Chaise Lounge with Chaz (Charles Willett), Teesee Says (Theresa Fambro Hooks) and Alpha Male (Charles Willett).

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Shamontiel L. Vaughn

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