One of the most celebrated days of the year aside from Christmas and Valentine’s Day is Mother’s Day. For many, this day is a symbol of just how much mothers and mother role models do in making life a functional world to live in. No disrespect to the dads out here holding it down, which will be addressed in another column, but this week—it’s all about the women who give more of themselves than sometimes the people around them.

I am a proud auntie of six nephews and nieces who bring joy to me in various ways. Not having my own biological children doesn’t take away from the enjoyment that I find in being a part of their lives, but it pales in comparison to what their parents have to endure in raising them. It is merely a reflection and sore reminder of the emotional ills, worries, and sleepless nights that we’ve put our parents through under their care.

There are single mothers and grandmothers who head up households, and yes, they do carry the roles that two parent households handle, but in no way can a woman replace a father. I think the void left in some children’s lives by not having a solid male role model is more a tragedy to the absent parent than the child because so much is missed. To be present for the many “firsts”—their first cry, the first laughter, the first crawl, the first steps, the first words, the calling for their first hug. Often, mothers are on the frontlines protecting, nurturing and cheering us all on—no matter how old we are.

We honor, cherish and love them dearly.

Cheryl Burton and her mother, Hattie Burton.

Cheryl Burton | ABC-7 News Anchorwoman

“I always say I am so grateful and thankful God chose Hattie Burton to be my Mom because we don’t get to pick our parents. I feel so blessed and honored to call her my mom! She is 87 years old and she gave me life and brings me joy! I, along with my brother and 3 sisters, affectionately call her “Frey”! She is beautiful, brilliant, so loving. She is the wind beneath my wings, my biggest cheerleader and teacher!  She made me ALWAYS believe I could accomplish anything!  She touched the lives of thousands of children as a special education teacher for nearly 40 years in CPS!

She enjoys her children and considers us her greatest achievements and greatest gifts!

She always tells me to be kind to everyone because you never know how a smile can make someone’s day and never let anyone steal your joy!

H is for hilarious and a heart of gold!

A is for Attitude of Gratitude

T is for Timeless

T is for Teacher

I is for Inspirational

E is for Ever present and Evolutionary”

Rhonda McCullough | President of the Bernie Mac Foundation

“As Mother’s Day approaches and I have gotten older, I’m filled with many memories of Mother’s Day past. It is a day to celebrate the most unimaginable gift you could ever receive “MOM”! My mom was my biggest fan, cheerleader, supporter and encourager, my lifelong friend. All of her sacrifices and her unmeasurable love and pride made me who I am today. So, with a grateful heart I am filled with thankfulness and so much appreciation for the beautiful soul that I called Mama. Forever you are engraved in my heart, may you always Rest in Peace. Happy Mother’s Day Mama!”

Bonnie DeShong | Community Relations for the DuSable Museum of African American History

“My Momma was the person who taught me how to be respectful to my elders, work hard and do my best, love unconditionally but not give myself away.  She chastised me and even whipped my behind when I did wrong and praised me with a huge smile and hug when I did what I was supposed to. She held me close and protected me when outside forces tried to steer me away from my teachings. I was counseling a young woman and heard her words flowing from my mouth. I was walking down the street and caught my reflection and my hips were swinging just like hers. I realized that she never would leave me. Her spirit surrounds me every single moment of each day, and if I stop and listen, I can hear her say, ‘Bunny, Momma loves you.’ I love you too Momma.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Tenille Jackson | President of Digital Vision Marketing and Founder of the Moms Squad

“Motherhood is God’s daily reminder of your greater purpose here on Earth.” 

Sophia King | 4th Ward Alderman | City of Chicago

“My mother, Ruth, is one of the strongest and sweetest women I know. She literally went from picking cotton in the Mississippi Delta to Northwestern University where she received her PhD in sociology. She hails from a small town called Moorhead, Ms – one of the poorest towns in the country. Although not always easy, she made sure we were well educated and culturally exposed. But most importantly she taught us to treat others with respect and dignity – especially our elders and those, perhaps, who didn’t have the same opportunities. Her strength of mind and consideration for others serve as a constant barometer for which I strive to achieve and measure myself.  As a mother of two young women, I realize the sacrifices and just how difficult it is to take the time to provide the type of guidance and opportunities that she provided for us – especially as a single mother for a period of time. 

Thank you, Mom, for all of your sacrifices and for being the best role model. I love you and happy Mother’s Day!”

Perri L. Irmer |  President & CEO  |DuSable Museum of African American History

“I once heard someone say, ‘no gift to your mother can ever equal her g

CEO of DuSable Museum of African American History, Perri Irmer.

ift to you – life!’ Without a doubt, I will always thank my mother not only for life, but, also for being my foundation and my rock. She has always been supportive, encouraging and loving, and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without her. I hope that I’ve grown into a person who is a worthy reflection of her. In these troubling times, we need the wisdom and strength of our mothers more than ever…be they our natural mothers or those we have adopted along the way, and I join in celebrating all mothers not only on Mother’s Day, but 365 days a year!”

Chicago hip hop legend, Ang 13.

Birthday Shout-Outs

Many belated birthdays wishes to DJ/Producer Joe Smooth; Republican crusader Jeffrey Coleman; fashion stylist Stevie Edwards; super promoter-turned-realtor Craig ‘C-Moe’ Morton; R&B singer Tamia Hill on May 9. Celebrating double-duty for hump day is Chicago soul singer Jay Hollins on May 10. Special shout-out to community activist and education advocate Brother Jitu on May 11. The Taurus party continues for singer/songwriter Stephanie ‘Sparkle’ Edwards; fashionista DJ Sean Mac; House music legend Georgie Porgie; 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell; and Chicago socialite Debra Ray on May 13.  Can I get a “mic check” for hip hop lyricist Ang 13 and soulful DJ Madrid Perry—both celebrating on May 14. Next week opens up for Comedian Marlon Mitchell and Alderman Carrie Austin as they kick off the following week on May 15.

Midwest NARAS Chapter President-elect, Mark Hubbard.

Congrats & Celebrations

Congratulations to Stellar Award-winning artist and music industry veteran Mark S. Hubbard, who has recently been elected as the Chicago Chapter President of the Recording Academy. The GRAMMYs board of governors selected Mark to this illustrious position during their formal electoral process, which takes place every two years.

We love Mark because he is a pillar of the community and his ongoing work and contribution to the Gospel music industry is highly respected. The Midwest is a growing hub of talent across various genres and we are happy to see the chapter make an adamant choice in selecting Mark in this leadership role. We’ll be keeping track of your progress!

On Wednesday evening, the Empress of Soul Terisa Griffin debuts her music video for the third single release from “Revival of Soul.” The sensual version of the Marvin Gaye classic “Distant Lover” will be revealed first to fans by V103 on the iheart media platform. The special event will take place at a private event where radio listeners, tastemakers and media will have a chance to meet and greet the songbird of Soul. Stay tuned!

The Harold Washington Cultural Center celebrates their Annual Gala showcasing all the center’s talented children on Monday May 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the venue that carries Chicago’s first Black mayor’s name. The work they’ve done over the years have benefit thousands of neighborhood youth to include additional S.T.E.M and financial planning for artistic engagement, selecting a delegation of students to attend the Tony Awards each year as well as participating yearly for Arts advocacy activities in Washington D.C. Kudos to Executive Director, Jimilita Tillman-Hunter and the amazing individual directors that run their programs from the performing arts hub. 

Condolences & Prayers

Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Ms. Carrie Dee Ingram Coleman who transitioned on May 1 at Little Company of Mary Hospital surrounded by close family members.

The step-mother of famed Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Chaka Khan and the sister of CHA Chair John Hooker—she was affectionately known as Miss Dee.

Miss Dee’s final business venture was the opening of Dee’s Enterprise, a full-service salon and boutique. She established a cosmetics line, Exclusive Cosmetics by Carrie Dee, and opened a boutique. She employed, developed and trained many youth and young adults who desired to enter the field of hair care. She also became a national technician for Soft Sheen Products Company and traveled the world training stylists on the various products developed by Soft Sheen. After nearly 50 years of hair care, Miss Dee retired.

Carrie Dee leaves to cherish her memories 3 sons: Michael, Dennis (Angela), and Kevin; 5 siblings: Everlena, Shirley, John (Kim), Rosemary, Shedrick; sisters-in-law, Mary and Vickie; granddaughter Quiana; great-grandchild Tyasia; a host of nieces, nephews, God children, friends and the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ Family.

Celebrity Hairstylist, Larry Sims.

Celebrity Sightings

Chicago native and celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims was in town to promote his new Bravo reality show, “Invite-Only Cabo.” The West Sider did the press rounds on Tuesday at both Fox 32 and Windy City Live showing off his skills that have made him famous among some of his celebrity clients—Gabrielle Union, Mary J. Blige and Kerry Washington. The hot new addition to Bravo’s Sunday night line-up premieres on May 14 at 8 p.m. CST.

NBC’s new talent show “The World of Dance” stars pop singer and former dancer NeYo, who was recently in Chicago talking with press about his new venture.   

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