A brown sign bearing the name of the late comedian Bernie Mac has been raised over a street on Chicago’s South Side.

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A brown sign bearing the name of the late comedian Bernie Mac has been raised over a street on Chicago’s South Side.

About 200 people, including his widow Rhonda McCullough, daughter Je’Niece McCullough and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, gathered Tuesday on a corner in Englewood near the home where he grew up near 69th and Sangamon.

“I hope this street naming is a beacon of light in this community. It should remind people that they can do whatever they want to do in life,” said his daughter Je’Niece McCullough.

Mac, born Bernard McCullough, succumbed to complications of pneumonia Aug. 9, 2008 after suffering from sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease. He was 50.

Denise Jordan-Walker, a spokesperson for the foundation named in his honor said, “It’s been a long time coming.”

Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, who attended the dedication said on Facebook, “Bernie never forgot where he came from and either should we. We know he was a comedian and an actor, but most importantly he never gave up on his Dreams and had the Determination to fight EVERY obstacle to achieve them! Let’s learn from Bernie.”

The comedian is best known for his stand-up performance in the Original Kings of Comedy, a tour that showcased several popular contemporary Black comedians, and the hit comedy series "The Bernie Mac Show."

About 6,500 people shared tears and laughter inside the House of Hope as family members and friends of Mac paid tribute during a four-hour memorial service in 2008 that included singing, pictures and an audio montage of Mac’s jokes and the late Isaac Hayes’ hits. Hayes died from a stroke days after Mac.

A letter written by his daughter was read at the service.

It read, in part: “I had you for 30 years. I really now know what I’ll be missing in my life. You are the first man I have ever loved. The very large shoes you left behind will never be filled by another. If the world never knew you as Bernie Mac, I would still be proud. I’m proud I was able to make you a grandfather.”

Copyright 2012 Chicago Defender

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