Grammy-winning Freddie Jackson to sing at ‘Black Creativity’ Gala

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Freddie Jackson, Grammy-winning R&B superstar who racked up a number of hit singles in the ‘80s and ‘90s with such tunes as Rock Me Tonight, You Are My Lady, Have You Ever Loved Somebody, Jam To-night, and Do Me Again, will be the featured hea

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Freddie Jackson, Grammy-winning R&B superstar who racked up a number of hit singles in the ‘80s and ‘90s with such tunes as Rock Me Tonight, You Are My Lady, Have You Ever Loved Somebody, Jam To-night, and Do Me Again, will be the featured headline entertainer come Jan. 28 when the Museum of Science & Industry presents its annual celebration of “Black Cre-ativity.” It’s the elegant post-holiday black-tie gala which includes a lavish cocktail re-ception, dinner, dancing and fellowship — all staged in the halls of the museum itself. (Save the date; more details to come!)

Bringin’ in the New Year – Jackie Tay-lor, founder, artistic director and head honcho of the brand spanking new $9 million dollar Black En-semble Theater Cultu-ral Center (BET/CC), 4450 N. Clark St. (in Uptown), is inviting us all to “Celebrate New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) Black Ensemble Style.” Included in the price of the $125 ticket donation: BET’s current production of The Jackie Wilson Story starring Kelvin Roston Jr. and produced, written and directed by Jackie Taylor, buffet dining, champagne toasts, more en-tertainment and dancing. Call (773) 769-4451 for reservations. And more: Jackie was among five femmes receiving tributes, honor and praise at the YWCA of Metropoli-tan Chicago’s recent 39th Annual Leader Luncheon. Some $700,000 was raised at the Swisshotel to fund the YW’s programs for women and girls.

Our Sympathy – to the family and friends of Bernadette Gaines Gilbert, re-tired Chicago educator (Kozminski Element-ary School in Hyde Park) who died Friday in New Orleans where she and her husband, Dean Gilbert Sr., also a former teacher, lived since their retirement some years ago. Her funeral is Saturday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m., at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 1923 St. Philip St., New Orleans, LA 70116. She’s also survived by sons, Dean Jr., Darrell and Dwight. The family can be contacted at 7831 Butterfield Rd., New Orleans, LA 70126; (504) 246-8248. May her soul rest in peace!

Family Fun! – Mark Brooks and Eve Bridgeforth host “a family friendly” Meet & Greet Santa Claus each Sunday in December, 1:30-4:30 p.m., in Brooks’ popular eatery and pub, Park 52, 5201 S. Harper. What to ex-pect: photos with Santa, holiday music, a Christ-mas brunch — ome-lettes, pancakes, chicken and waffles, catfish, grits – and more, much more! Hurry and RSVP ‘cause seating is limited and reservations are re-quired: dawn@park52chicago.com And ev-ery Thursday evening at Park 52, there’s a “773 Happy Hour” — $7 appetizers, $7 martinis and $3 beers.

Pre-Kwanzaa – Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network (NAN) and a renowned civil rights leader, keynotes Saturday’s 20th Annual Pre-Kwanzaa Cele-bration, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at Chicago State Univ.’s Convocation Center (enter at 99th and King Dr.) sponsored by WVON-Radio in partnership with CSU, Betty Shabazz Inter-national Charter School and the Insti-tute of Positive Educa-tion. Activities: Kwan-zaa Award Ceremony, Madd Rhythms, Mama Brenda, African Ancestry Workshop, Children’s Pavilion, Literary Pavilion, face-painting, hair-braiding, holiday marketplace, natural haircare, home-decorating, zumba dancing, stilt.-walking, spoken word, music, drama, drumming and so much more. Free admission!

Super Sistahs – Dr. Angela Davis, political and human rights activist, scholar, educator and author who was active during the late 60s through the 70s; Dianne Reeves, Grammy-winning re-cording artist; Monica Haslip, Little Black Pearl Workshop’s founder and executive director; and Nona Hendryx, acclaimed singer and songwriter! Imagine all four of these super sistahs under one roof simultaneously!

Well, that‘s happening on Friday, 6-9 p.m., when LBP, the community arts organization at 1060 E. 47th St. launches Black: Unplugged, a quarterly series featuring live poetry, arts and music produced by Terri Lyne Carrington. LBP’s mission: to create opportunities for youth and adults to deepen their creative in-volvement through art, entrepreneurial skills and art for economic empowerment and community transformation. Www.blackpearl.org.

Author! Author! – Jeana RΘnee Rand, self-published author and poet, has released her newest work, Mouth Peace, a book of poems spiced with a few of her signature recipes. At an intimate book signing at the Edge Gallery with family and friends Rand, her husband and a son read select entries. Mouth Peace is “a unique set of book submissions, questions for readers to answer in an attempt to help them converse with their inner selves.” It also includes poems written by her husband, Michael, and her late dad, James Jones.

“I’m delighted I was able to release Mouth Peace in time for the holidays. I be-lieve it will make a wonderful gift,” says Rand, whose first book, Eyes Open, was re-leased in the spring. Both books are available on http://www.jeanarandeyesopen.com. Rand, a daycare owner, has a degree in Early Child-hood Education from California College for Health Sciences in Salt Lake City. She‘s married and a mom of two sons. She says writing and publishing has been “a humbling experience.”

Newsy Names – Ann Hinton, Renee Thomas Jackson, De-nise and Sue Thomas host their annual Holi-day Soiree & Sale Ex-travaganza, Dec. 16-17, 3-9 p.m., at 8154 S. Wabash (use side en-trance), featuring fashions, vintage and contemporary accessories, jewelry, specialty gift items, decorative house wares, etc. in a relaxed, crowd-free environment with libations, treats and holiday cheer. Call (773) 315-7406 … Happy b’day to How-ard McGee, Pam Morris, Lisa Willi-ams Rollins, Gov. Pat Quinn, Dawn Hasb-rouck, George Dan-iels, Jeanette Fore-man, Thelma Mer-chant, Sallye John-son, Lee Ivory, Terri Winston, Leanne Muller-Wharton, Gloria Crawford, Da-vid Rudd and John Blanton … Get well to former Defender colleague, Jimmie Wright, home after a brief hospital stay … Wallace “Gator” Bradley is ther new community-neighborhood advisor in the Campaign to Elect Justice Joy Virginia Cunningham to the Illinois Supreme Court.

State Rep. Art Turner hosts a Ninth Dis-trict Holiday Open House on Thursday, 1-7 p.m., at 3849 W. Ogden Blvd. … A “li’l bit of Luther” and a “li’l bit of Prince” will be in the spootlight when Knit-House Productions present Keith Niles Unplugged (“old skool music”), at Vaughn’s Private Club, 6633 S. Ashland, in West Engewood, so says Larry Shannon. Mark your calendar for Dec. 16 and 30; Jan. 6 and 20; Feb. 3 and 17; and March 2 and 16 – in other words, every other Friday — from 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Entry fee: only 10 bucks!

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