Teesee’s Town

Kicking It! – An evening of food, fun and music kicks-off Black United Fund of Illinois’ Silver Year Celebration of Making a Difference at Thursday’s Media Kick-Off Party in anticipation of its Oct. 2 “Living Legends/ Passing the T

Welcome summer!      Kicking It! – An evening of food, fun and music kicks-off Black United Fund of Illinois’ Silver Year Celebration of Making a Difference at Thursday’s Media Kick-Off Party in anticipation of its Oct. 2 “Living Legends/ Passing the Torch Awards” at DuSable Museum. For 10 years, BUFI’s Torch Awards have honored significant accomplishments of leading Chicago trailblazers – and given well-deserved recognition to their progeny poised to carry the torch of power, liberation and freedom forward into the future.

     Honorees include legendary adman Tom Burrell, author of a best-selling book about marketing to the urban African American consumer, Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority; Doris Zollar, social activist, and Atty. Nikki Zollar, her daughter. A special lifetime achievement award goes to an illustrious couple, Alice (former Illinois Senator) and Edward “Buzz” Palmer, social activist and educator. Henry English, BUFI president and CEO, hosts the kick-off at the BUFI Social Building, 1750 E. 71st St. Jazz guitarist Bernard Alcorn entertained.

     Past Torch Award winners include a virtual “who’s who” of local business, political, education, entertainment and culture, as well as social service and religious leaders and luminaries. “The Torch Gala,” English says, “is an outstanding example of BUFI’s mission to inspire, prepare and mentor future generations of African Americans for excellence in leadership.” BUFI is the only philanthropic fund operated by African Americans in the U.S. Since its inception, BUFI, with an annual budget of over $1.8 million, has provided grants and other assistance to over 500 grass-roots community organizations. Call (773) 324–0494.     Honoring its Own! – John H. Dozier, Kennedy-King College president, received its first-ever Community Justice Award following the first in a series of Continuing Legal Education programs for urban legal professionals at the Chicago law offices of Holland & Knight. The award recognizes professionals who advance values of the U.S. Legal Justice system and their exemplary service to the community. Other recipients: Atty. Marian Perkins, Cook County Bar Association president; Judge Jacqueline P. Cox, of U.S. Bankruptcy Court; Atty. Victor Henderson, executive  partner, Holland & Knight; and Jesse Reyes, board member, Hispanic Lawyers Ass’n of Illinois.      Play Ball! – Chicago White Sox hosts its third annual “Double Duty Classic,” a free family and community event on June 30 celebrating the history and tradition of Negro League baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city ball players. This summer marks the 77th anniversary of the first East-West All-Star Game played at Comiskey Park. Inner-city high school baseball players from across the country, dressed in uniforms honoring the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star Game, will participate in the game. An invitation-only forum will precede the game and feature a number of speakers and prominent folks of the baseball community. Gates open at noon; game time, 1:05 p.m.; free parking in Lot B (north of 35th St.) and live music and special entertainment begins at 11:30 a.m. at Gate 5. Call (312) 674-1000. Take the kids – yours and your neighbor’s! It’s free!

     The classic is named in memory of Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe (1902-2005), who was born in Mobile, Ala. and played for the Chicago American Giants of the Negro Leagues. At age 41, Radcliffe earned MVP honors during the 1943 season. Nicknamed “Double Duty” because he would regularly pitch the first game of a double-header and catch the second game, Radcliffe was one of the most dynamic players in the Negro League – and all of baseball. From 2002 until he died in 2005, Radcliffe threw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to every White Sox game.      Curtain Call – Herbert III and Contribution, two hilarious one-act plays by Ted Shine – and the final show in a season of plays by African American men directed by African American women, runs July 1-Aug. 22, Wednesdays-Sundays, at eta Square, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Directed by Phyllis E. Griffin, the plays marks her premier as a non-academic director. General admission is $30 with reduced rates for groups, seniors and students; “2 for 1” Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. are sponsored by ComEd. Call (773) 752-3955 or log on www.etacreativearts.org.

     Herbert III is an amusing tale of a son who stays out late, causing his mom to fall apart while his dad tries to convince her that he’s old enough to play. It’s a humorously insightful study of a couple with contrasting attitudes toward how to raise children amid racism. Contributions tackles the story of a young civil rights activist whose unassuming grandmother, a spiritual-singing Christian, has devised a plan that her grandson will never forget. It satirizes the headstrong youth that scoffed at the older generation’s seeming apathy for the civil rights movement.     Newsy Names – Happy b’day to long-time pal, renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Sunday joined on stage by song stylist Nancy Wilson and The Dave Brubeck Quartet at Ravinia Festival; to Larry Rollins, Charli Clayborne, Patricia McCreary, Freida Curry, Ann Hinton, Kirk Townsend, Ron Blackman, Sharon (“Pocketbook Monologues”) McGhee, Gwen Anderson, Susan Smith Ross, Carol Jacobs and Shayna Bracha Farber … Chicago Chapter of Carrousels Inc. led by Mae Carr, president, head to Detroit this week for their 45th annual national  convention. And last Friday, the group with several sistah-friends enjoyed a “girls’ night out” at Chicago’s legendary The Baton Show Lounge viewing “the very best in female impersonation” … Andrea M. Buford, president of the Cook County Bar Association Foundation, offers free counseling and consultation by licensed attorneys to folk in need of legal assistance in mortgage foreclosure defense and/or unemployment compensation benefits on Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Chicago Black United Communities, 330 E. 37th St. CBUC’s mission: fighting for equality and justice through community outreach and mentoring programs. Call (773) 548-2000 …

      Get well to media sis Renee Ferguson, recuperating at home and getting lots of TLC from her hubby, Ken Smikle, following emergency surgery at Northwestern  Hospital … Happy 20th anniversary wishes to Joi and Bryan Johnson (he’s the newly named executive director of sacred music at Trinity United Church of Christ and on faculty at Kwame Nkrumah Academy; she’s a TUCC deacon.) … Ed Gardner, Tim King, Dr. Terry Mason, Pam Morris, Chuck Smith and Tracy Schmidt pick up N’Digo Foundation honors on June 27 during “Sunday Soul at Symphony Center,” its 15th Annual Gala that raises scholarship dollars and honors those who’ve excelled in their careers. The gala features a concert by eight-time Grammy-nominated Fantasia Barrino, an American Idol winner. N’Digo publisher Hermene Hartman and CLTV talk show host Gerard McClendon will emcee. Tickets: $250 each; $75, concert only. It ends with a “midnight after-party” that combines upscale, private club experience with a deejay “turning the tables” ‘til midnight. 

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender.

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