In the Mix: The Struggle Is REAL, Black History Is American History

Women have to fight every day in various ways. Whether it’s on the job, at the office or in the comforts of our homes. It can be at times a mental struggle because we are expected to perform different tasks and be good at them all. It can also be very rewarding to feel that connection of knowing we are needed but also appreciated. But, we still find ourselves fighting to prove ourselves, to teach ourselves we are just as good as our male counterparts and many times—BETTER.

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 28: Recording artist Janelle Monae speaks onstage during the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

It doesn’t take Rose McGowan to show us the power of #MeToo or the Hollywood female movement of #TimesUp. I was raised by sheroes—women who showed me strength, tenacity and power everyday—yet we still find ourselves submitting to those who search for that ‘weak’ chink in our armor. We submit. Not because we are weak or ignorant or even scared—it’s because most of us are just exhausted and emotionally drained.

Even in the shadows of the modern-day suffrage movement—there are women who find themselves being harassed—either verbally, physically or mind f**ked by the very people who we trusted. We call women brave when they step out and tell their stories, but do we really listen? Do we really find a way to protect them? Our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, daughters, granddaughters and nieces still live in a world where the status quo questions the validity of our voices.

For centuries, Black women have not been able to “own” their bodies—we were captured, enslaved and forced to reproduce our children as if they were cattle at the pleasure and profit of White slave owners. We fast forward to the present day and our publication finds ourselves listening to the stories of alleged discrimination and harassment complaints from women in our community who thought they were safe and legally protected but still they FIGHT. The Chicago Defender was founded by Robert Sengstacke Abbott on the premise of being the voice for those whose voices are often silenced.

In last week’s In the Mix column, we mentioned a lawsuit filed by some female Cook County sheriff correctional officers who have been faced with sexual harassment by inmates as they perform their on-the-job responsibilities. In the same paragraph, an alleged domestic disturbance at Sheriff Tom Dart’s house in October 2017 was also mentioned in this column.

Based on the information received, we are currently investigating the matter and The Chicago Defender would like to retract that statement until further evidence materializes. Chief Policy Officer for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department Cara Smith has denied such allegations as being “false” and “baseless” rumors.

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 28: Childish Gambino (L) and JD McCrary perform onstage during the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS)

Who Watched the Grammys?

For those who are in the music business, the Grammys is the equivalent to the Academy Awards for songwriters, producers, musicians and artists. It is considered the highest standard of your peer saying, “Hey, we see you!” But, the question is “who sees whom?” Although, Grammy watchers billed this year’s 60th Grammys Awards as the year of hip hop—critics flipped the script on the lack of female winners. Only one award went to a female for Best New Artist– Alessia Cara. Bruno Mars walked away with six gold phonographs while Kendrick Lamar finally got his mantel filled with five additional statues. Jay-Z was snubbed for Best Album of the Year which went to Bruno Mars’ recycled R&B, celebrated pop hit album “24K Magic.” Shout out to songwriter and artist T-Pain for penning that multi-platinum joint.

The ceremony was held in New York City, which was the home of the awards for many years before they called Los Angeles home over a decade ago. We saw great and moving live performances by Pink, Lady Gaga, Kesha and Rhianna. But my favorite of the evening was Childish Gambino whose vocal performance of “Terrified” joined by the young singer JD McCrary—gave classic blends of Curtis Mayfield and Prince. I had goose bumps. All I could think was I better “stay woke.”

Other than the Elton John collabo with Miley Cyrus, Sting and U2 performing somewhere off the Hudson River—I miss the days of real music royalty lighting up the broadcast. These artists were music giants before the grey hair and they are still killing it.

Black History Is American History

We’re aware that we only get 28 days in the year to openly celebrate all the great achievements of our ancestors and those currently making strides in excellence, so we will unapologetically make sure everybody knows who Harriet Tubman is in February.  We can’t deny, Chicago is the epicenter of African American culture and history makers, so we will highlight some upcoming events for February.

Spoken Word artist, Malcolm London

Happy Birthday Langston Hughes: A Celebration in Poetry, Prose and Song will take place on Thursday, Feb.1 at City Winery (1200 W. Randolph St.). The show will feature Golden Globe award-winning actress Regina Taylor; R&B singer, Terisa Griffin; Grammy award-winning songwriter Malik Yusef; Broadway performer Felicia P. Fields and spoken word artist Malcolm London.  Showtime at 8pm. Tickets are available at

The Chicago Urban League presents the Black Film Fest, #TheStoryofOURvote! is the theme throughout the month where they will highlight films from Black filmmakers. All films will be shown at their headquarters, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. Starting on Feb. 6

WGCI On-Air Personality/DISH Nation’s Tone Kapone

This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer “Juneteenth” episode of Black-ish panel discussion on Voter Education led by Shari Runner, President & CEO of the Chicago Urban League. On Feb. 13, “Freedom Song,” followed by a group discussion on understanding the roles of elected officials. Youth Night – “Step” on Feb. 20 afterwards, the evening will conclude with a special step performance. Wrapping up the series, the movie “Marshall” will be shown on Feb.27, and a reception and book signing with Atty. James D. Montgomery will follow.

Birthday Shout-outs

The weather may be cold but we can always rely on those frisky Aquariuses to heat things up. Belated birthday shout-outs to WVON morning host Maze Jackson; hip hop beatmaster Sound Master T; and Blok Club DJ Curtis Singleton, Jr. on Jan. 30. To Miss “Glam Squad,” happy birthday wishes to Carol Mayfield on Jan. 31. Much love to music producer Clarence “CNote” Clayton and DTLR Regional Marketing Director Mike Jones—both blowing out candles on Feb. 1. Love my music vet and great mentor David C. Linton; and WGCI’s on-air personality/super dad Tone Kapone celebrating on Feb. 2. Big hug to singer and actor Mishon Ratliff and publicist/busy mom LaDonna Raeh celebrating on Feb. 3. Last but not least, MAJOR sister girl love to talent manager Deidre Turner kicking up that Mississippi red dirt on Feb. 6.

CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson


Congratulations to Dr. Janice Jackson who is no longer “Acting” CPS CEO. She is officially the permanent CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Mad KUDOS in her official role, leading the third largest school district in the country.

Got a scoop? Send us your birthdays, anniversaries, career promotions, memorials and good news!

Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter. @globalmixx




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