By Theresa Fambro Hooks
As the 2012 President’s Election fast approaches, the Chicago Chapter of National Ass’n of Black Journalists (NABJ) will explore the challenges and oppositions that confronted President Barack Obama once the glow of his historic 2008 election wore off — from the efforts by some to verify voting eligibility to the Tea Party effect and its “birther” movement to plans to discredit President Obama among white voters by reminding them of his link with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
This Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6-8 p.m., NABJ Chicago and Columbia College Chicago present a panel, Racism and the Presidency: A Failed Strategy, moderated by Maudlyne Ihejirika, Sun-Times reporter, at the college, 33 E. Congress (at Wabash), in room C-101. Panelists: Monroe Anderson, former Tribune political reporter, blogger and press secretary to Mayor Harold Washington; Kimbriell Kelly, editor-publisher, The Chicago Reporter; and Charles Butler, conservative political radio talk show host (WIND and formerly WVON). Admission is free for NABJ members; $5 for non-members.
Political commentators and pundits have been blatantly racist in their comments, and even some military officers have been disrespectful in their statements and actions. These, among others, are failed strategies, says Melissa Perry-Harris, MSNBC’s news anchor. What does this blatant disrespect of the Office of the President say about racism in our country today? Are we really on the eve of a post-racial America? Come out and hear the panel’s views!
Congrats – to a fave friend, Bill Williams, on his retirement as l-o-o-o-o-n-g-time vice president of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau. He celebrates “big time” Oct. 30 at a gigantic McCormick Place farewell shindig hosted in his honor by the City of Chicago, he proudly boasts … Also congrats to Kenneth Hill, founder/president of Chicago Pre-College Science & Engineering Program (ChiS&E). He was honored by his alma mater, Howard U., when Chicago Alumni Club hosted an Inaugural Who’s Who Gala …
Bronzeville Art – A new art exhibit, Dreams in Jay-Z Minor opened in Bronzeville Friday at Blanc Gallery, 4445 S. King Dr., (thru Dec. 29), featuring nationally acclaimed Chicago-based artists Armanda Williams and Krista Franklin’s interpretation of the music of the rapper, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur who has had such a significant impact upon popular culture. Exhibit title came from the discovery that both artists were simultaneously dreaming about Jay-Z and what his music means to them and their culture. It’s part of Chicago Artists Month, which will give art patrons a chance to come to Bronzeville to see the exciting, extraordinary quality happening in the community as well as the vibrant art scene at Blanc Gallery.
The exhibit, curated by Camille Morgan and sponsored by Ill. Service Federal, explores upward mobility and aspirations of people of African descent in America and worldwide, Black excellence and excess. A variety of mediums are used: paintings, handmade paper, print, altered books and collage. Visit www.blancchicago.com.
Making History – The legendary record producer and founder of the Motown label, will be interviewed by award-winning journalist, Gwen Ifill, managing editor and moderator of Washington Week and senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, when The HistoryMakers presents “An Evening with Berry Gordy” (a PBS-TV taping} at The Art Institute of Chicago on Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m.; no entry after taping begins. Tickets: $1,000. Call (312) 674-1900.
Heading the annual event: Julieanna L. Richardson, founder and executive producer; Ray Chew (remember “& The Crew”?), music producer; Clarence Avant, Kelly McNamara Corley, Michele Coleman Mayer and Carol H. Williams, event co-chairs; and Michelle Boone, Lucian Grange, Christie Hefner, Steven McKeever, Suzanne de Passe, Richard Parsons, honorary chairs. And among those on the benefit committee: Dr. Walter and Shirley Massey, Connie Lindsey, Dee Robinson Reid, Risa Davis, Brenda Gaines, Kimberly McCullough, Katey Assem, Sandy Matthews, Brenda Russell and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack.
Attn: Jazz Junkies! – It’s where such famous jazz and blues legends, such as Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, The Adderley Brothers (Cannonball and Nat), Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis, Nancy Wilson, John Coltrane, Etta James, Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday. et al, and others were centerstage — the Sutherland Lounge in the hotel of the same name at 4657 S. Drexel Blvd. It was one of the first integrated hotels in Chicago, opened to Black patrons in 1952. In later years, the lounge and hotel meeting spaces were headquarters for local Black politicians and civil rights groups.
It re-opens Oct. 13-14, OpenHouseChicago weekend, as Chicago Blues Museum, presenting Architects of Jazz: The Sutherland Lounge Exhibit, launching the official re-opening of the Sutherland Ballroom. During the 50s and 60s it was the city’s experimental jazz scene. The weekend programming includes rare uncut blues and jazz performances of the past played as tributes by today’s musicians. The free programs are open to the public. Hours: Sat.,10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Call (773) 723-5031 or visit .
For Scholarships – Seven local academically qualified students pursuing post-secondary studies at a college or university will share $10,000 in scholarships when The Ora Higgins Youth Foundation celebrates its 36th Anniversary on Saturday noon at The Sabre Room, 8900 W. 95th St., in Hickory Hills. Also leadership awards will go to three distinguished citizens who are making major contributions to the growth and development of today’s urban youth. The late Mrs. Higgins was the great-great aunt or Michelle Robinson Obama, “first lady” of the United States, and as an honor grad of Whitney Young High School was a Higgins Scholarship recipient.
Honorary Status – Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management, was inducted into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, during a ceremony held in Los Angeles. The sorority’s highest lifetime tribute is extended to illustrious women of noteworthy achievements, says Carolyn House Stewart, AKA’s international president, who adds that since its founding in 1908, the sorority has extended honorary membership to only a select few. Also inducted: Suzanne Malveaux, CNN anchor; Carolyn Maull McKinstry, activist, author and survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala.
Newsy Names – Sharlean Taylor is the events manager at The Legacy, newly opened banquet facility/venue at 11901 S. Loomis, on Christ Universal Temple campus. It can accommodate dinners, luncheons, parties, meetings, gatherings, etc. of 14–700 persons (up to 1,000, if theatre-style seating). Exclusive in-house caterers are Fanfares by Faye (Faye Watson) and Melon Express (Donna Todd). Call (773) 941-6039 for a tour. Sharlean’s cell is (773) 879-1936.
Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church is seeking “ambassadors” to each raise a minimum of $1,000 to assist him in achieving his $15M goal to erect a community, economic development center in Woodlawn. Rev. Brooks returns from L.A. Monday after completing a “Walk Across America” to preach a special service at his church. He conducts an Intensive Conference with Bishop T.D. Jakes and Rev. James Meeks, Oct. 17-19 … Urban travel girl,” Maureen Jenkins, freelance food and travel writer, talks food, wine and travel – both abroad and in Chi-Town – in the 30th anniversary issue (Oct.) of Today’s Chicago Woman (TCW) … “Happy b’day to Col. Eugene Scott, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Derrick Rose, Sonja Brown, Earl Calloway, Dick Gregory, Gertrude Tucker, Heather Headley, Denise Cureton, Doris Powell, Ernest Thompson.