ABC-7 is Chicago Proud to celebrate Black History Month with special news reports, programming and vignettes throughout February. Special presentations of HEART & SOUL, an ABC-7 series that taps into the essence of Chicago’s African American community, will air twice, Saturday, February 23 at 6:00 pm and Saturday, March 2 at 4:30 pm. This edition of HEART & SOUL is hosted by ABC-7’s Hosea Sanders and Cheryl Burton, with contributions from Terrell Brown, Evelyn Holmes, Leah Hope, Will Jones, and Val Warner. HEART & SOUL is a winner of three Chicago Emmy Awards.
ABC-7 EYEWITNESS News and Windy City LIVE will also feature special Black History Month stories. Windy City LIVE, hosted by Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini, airs weekdays at 1 PM on ABC-7.
Monday, February 18 Windy City LIVE will take a look at ComEd’s Solar Spotlight program. They pair engineers and mentors with students in Chicago’s African American community not only to teach them about solar energy but to also expose them to careers in STEM.
Tuesday, February 19 Windy City LIVE profiles Helene Gayle, the first female CEO of Chicago Community Trust, who is working to address economic inequality in the city.
In this special Black History Month edition, HEART & SOUL introduces us to 100 year-old historian, author and activist, Timuel Black and his amazing life.
It also features Lieutenant Quention Curtis, an EMT, who started the Black Fire Brigade, a community organization that provides free EMT classes to teach teens how to save lives and to get them started on a career path as firefighters. His new “home base” in Ashburn offers a safe haven for students.
Then, HEART & SOUL gives us a flavor of classically-trained chef and restaurant executive, Rochelle Trotter. Rochelle is the widow of Charles Trotter, who elevated Chicago fine dining with his Michelin-starred restaurant. Rochelle shares how The Charles and Rochelle Trotter Endowment has helped aspiring chefs to enter culinary school, and talks about the new exhibit at the Harold Washington Public Library, A Taste of Charlie Trotter.
HEART & SOUL showcases Hyde Park’s Sir and Madame Boutique. Launched by married couple Autumn and Brian Merritt in 2007, their clothing and luxury lifestyle boutique has been a big success. The Merritt’s talk about how they support their community through Kicks 4 the City, which facilitates the charity’s shoe drive. The couple also cleans and refurbishes the donated shoes.
HEART & SOUL takes a tour of what’s happening at the Greater West Town Community Development Project. This inspirational organization offers free vocational training and job placement. We hear from alumni whose lives have been forever changed by the program, as well as their dedicated instructors who helped inspire them.
Next, the show looks at a bookstore that triples as a bar and restaurant, Bibliophile. And it catches up with its sommelier, Derrick Westbrook, who was recently named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 Under 40 Taste Makers.
Beginning February 1st, and throughout Black History Month, ABC-7 will air a series of vignettes featuring the Black McDonald’s Operators Association celebrating the Du Sable Museum, the oldest Black history museum in the country; Free Lunch Academy, a Chicago-based youth outreach program that utilizes art, culture and entertainment to help young people; and, the Operation Push and the Push Excel program for its commitment to inspiring students to pursue higher education.
ABC-7 will air WOMEN ON THE MOVE (WOTM) on Sunday, February 10 from 1-2 pm. This special features the stories of women who come from different backgrounds and generations, thriving in their respective fields. WOTM provides women a positive reflection of themselves in the media and offers inspiration to women around the world.