ABC 7 is Chicago Proud to celebrate Black History Month with 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, Feb. 22 at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 23 at 12:30 p.m. This edition of HEART & SOUL, spotlighting mentorship, is hosted by ABC 7’s Hosea Sanders and Cheryl Burton, with contributions from Karen Jordan, Jim Rose and Will Jones. 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 1:00 p.m. on ABC 7.
Thursday, Feb. 6 Windy City LIVE will feature Chrisette Michelle. The Grammy award-winning R&B singer who was “cancelled” for performing at President Trump’s inauguration and is now hoping to change the narrative to focus on redemption culture and how it relates to black women.
Thursday, February 13th Windy City LIVE profiles Robin Harris, model turned entrepreneur and fashion designer who specializes in clothes for tall women.
Monday, February 24th Windy City LIVE visits Ayodele Drum & Dance. Their mission is to foster community from a feminine perspective through the study and performance of diasporic African drum and dance.
This special edition of HEART & SOUL celebrates mentorship, featuring Chicagoans whose mentoring efforts have changed lives and shaped future leaders.
First up, Cinespace Chicago Film Studio has developed an internship program called CineCares which brings kids into the vast TV and film complex to teach them about the business. They are then able to acquire professional experience and potentially, union jobs. This segment explores how Cinespace Chicago works to fulfill its mission to invest in education and the organizations that serve the special needs in West and South Side communities.
Chef Erick Williams, former executive chef at the famed MK, is profiled. His latest effort is Virtue, a trendy Hyde Park restaurant that serves up contemporary Southern cuisine. Chef Erick has long made it his mission to mentor and ‘lift up’ diverse, young culinary talent. In fact, Erick’s own executive chef at Virtue was a young man he met and trained in the MK kitchen. Then, HEART & SOUL spotlights Billy Moore, the Case Manager for IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network). Moore has been involved with IMAN’s Green Re-Entry Program for more than 2 years, helping formerly incarcerated men gain tools to find employment and to restore peace in their communities. The men he works with receives vocational training, are offered transitional housing, professional leadership development, and behavioral health services.
HEART & SOUL showcases Kamau Murray, a tennis coach who has mentored tennis stars, such as Sloane Stephens and founded XS Tennis and Education Foundation. Murray’s Foundation is able to give economically underprivileged children the chance to play the sport year-round and to apply to college tennis scholarships.
HEART & SOUL takes a tour at The Bloc, the boxing organization where Jamyle Cannon coaches and helps kids from the West Side of Chicago overcome life’s obstacles through boxing. More than a gym, The Bloc provides children with tutoring and academic help, as well as a safe space for them to do their homework.
Next, viewers meet the tenacious and talented Mary “Merciless” McGee, a female boxer who, after hurdling through relentless training and life challenges, brought the International Boxing Federation Junior Welterweight Championship belt to her home town of Gary, Indiana.
Finally, HEART & SOUL takes a look back at the legacy of Jesse White, the first and longest serving African American to hold the position of Secretary of State of Illinois. His history includes knowing Dr. Martin King and getting signed by the Chicago Cubs, but his heart has always been rooted as a teacher and mentor. White has guided more than 18,000 young people through the Jesse White Tumblers. This organization provides a positive alternative for inner-city kids and mentors them into becoming great athletes and people.
Beginning Feb. 1, and throughout Black History Month, ABC 7 will air a series of vignettes incorporating a mentorship theme spotlighting those in Chicago who share their talent and help lift others up.