Teesee's Town: Mandela's 90th bday

Multi-award-winning jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s artistic director, composer, performer and conductor, premieres a new composition, Hope in Action, in tribute to the global message, struggle, perseverance and triumph of t

‘Acapulco on the Lake,’ today at Lake Shore Drive Park Live music and entertainment by Rob Juice along with tasty and delicious festival edibles and a number of retail vendors! That’s the exciting “come-on” for July 17’s Acapulco on the Lake from 12:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at 31st and Lake Shore Drive Park, sponsored by the Bronzeville Visitors and Tourism Bureau of McCormick Chamber of Commerce.

This third annual community gathering of mostly business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs, residents and employees of Bronzeville and their families and guests has gained a reputation as “an anticipated and enjoyable time within the near southeast community.” Attendees are requested to wear their most colorful Caribbean garb and comfy shoes, to bring their favorite lawn chair, relax and just chill!

For much more info, contact the Chamber’s Christine Bowden, (773) 343-1752; Cliff Ruffin, (312) 799-1999; or visit the Web site www.mccormick-chamber-chicago.org.

Boys-To-Men–Some 20 young men who have, in this summer, already mastered great speeches by the likes of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama and Marcus Garvey, among others, will vie for gold, silver and bronze medals on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. during the 12th Oliver F. Hightower Oratorical Contest at Commonwealth Community Church, 140 W. 81st St. (at LaSalle), sponsored by Concerned Christian Men.

Throughout the year, CCM, which is headed by George Glenn, founder and executive director, sponsors the monthly Man-Boy Breakfasts at Simeon Career Academy, The John E. Everett Awards Dinners, Vocational Saturdays, Thompkins-Stimley Summer Camp, field trips, sports outings, seminars, college scholarships and other incentives “to facilitate the transition from boys to men.” Visit their Web site at www.concernedchristianmen.org or call (773) 401-0025. For Openers– Faye Edwards, proprietor of Fai%uFFFD, a relatively new African art gallery at 4317 S. Cottage Grove in Bronzeville, hosts a reception today, 6 p.m.–8 p.m., to unveil a group of spectacular collectors’ pieces, including a Great Nimba Headpiece, a 10-foot Baga snake, an antique chowke drum, a Kwifebe mask and a Sande Society mask. Also on tap, live music and African cuisine.

The gallery’s goal, says Edwards, “is to make quality African art, usually found in private collections and museums, available to wider audiences, particularly those in the Diaspora, and all who are seeking deeper purpose and unspoken beauty.” Check out her website: www.faieafricanart.com, call (773) 268-2889, send an email to info@faieafricanart.com or stop by the gallery for the July 17th reception. Movie Magic–Nickelodeon’s Jordan Coleman,12, the voice of Tyrone the Moose on The Backyardigans, made a special appearance on Wednesday morning at AMC Loews Crestwood 18 Theatre following the premiere screening of the inspirational film he executive produced and directed, Say It Loud! It includes appearances by Kobe Bryant, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Michael Strahan, Terrence J, Rev. Al Sharpton and Vince Carter, to name a few. The screening followed the 2008 AMC Summer MovieCamp film. A while back, Jordan‘s mom challenged him to use some of his earnings from Nick Jr. to make a positive contribution to his community. So he hired a film crew and began interviewing African American boys and men, creating Say It Loud!, which explores the importance of education for African American boys. Jordan interviewed a wide range of famous African American celebrities to gain their perspective and insight on the importance of education. More information about the film can be found at www.sayitloudfilm.com.

Summer MovieCamp presents G- and PG-rated movies on the big screen for the nominal fee of only $1 every Wednesday morning throughout the summer. Tickets will be on sale online at www.amctheatre.com or at the theatre box office. Doors open at 9 a.m., and shows begin at 10 a.m. More about Summer MovieCamp can be found at www.amctheatres.com/smc.

Ready for This?–A national drive to bring fathers and husbands into the homes of children will be launched at a book signing on Saturday, 4 p.m.–7 p.m. at Pearl’s Place, 3901 S. Michigan. Naimah Latif, author of the controversial new book, The Female Solution, will present a survey for men and women as part of a national fact-finding initiative to prepare for the introduction of a change in the marriage laws to allow men, with the consent of their wives, to marry more than one wife. Statistics show that the rise in crime rate is in direct proportion to the absence of fathers in the home, she says. To confirm your attendance, call 312-849-FILM. Say what! Multi-award-winning jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s artistic director, composer, performer and conductor, premieres a new composition, Hope in Action, in tribute to the global message, struggle, perseverance and triumph of the much revered and beloved humanitarian icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, in honor of his 90th birthday. Monday’s free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park kicking-off at 6:30 p.m. will celebrate Mandela’s ideals of diversity, inclusivity and change. Of course, we all know that Mandela is the former head of the African National Congress and former president of South Africa. Davis’ piece, with jazz, classical and African rhythms, sparked with inspirational narration and culminating with a grand chorus by the Soul Children of Chicago Choir, is inspired by Mandela’s universal message of peace and unification. The musical suite will feature special guest performances by Zim Ngqwana, prominent South African jazz saxophonist, educator and CJP’s first Artist-In- Residence; Ari Brown, tenor saxophonist and pianist and a member of Chicago’s avantgarde jazz scene; Dee Alexander, one of the most gifted and respected female vocalists around whose genre ranges from a soft, sultry, traditional ballad to a contemporary jazz-funk groove to a high-flying swing to a scat-filled romp; and T’keyah Crystal Keymah, best known for her heralded work on three pioneering shows, In Living Color, Cosby and That’s So Raven. Bill Kurtis, journalist, producer and author, emcees.

Magic Music–Renowned mezzo-soprano Tracie Luck performed at the Hyde Park home of Sandra and Tim Rand to celebrate the Chicago premiere of Margaret Garner this fall at the Auditorium Theatre. Also on hand: Merri Dee, Bob Blackwell, the Defender‘s Earl Calloway, DuSable Museum president Antoinette Wright, Kraft Foods exec. Amina Dickerson and Boeing Co. exec. Anne E. Roosevelt. Luck performs the title role Nov. 6, 8 and 9 in this epic opera based on a libretto by < strong>Toni Morrison. Denyce Graves performs Nov. 1- 2.

Margaret Garner is based on the true story of one of the most significant and controversial cases of all antebellum fugitive slave stories. Garner’s love for her family fueled her ongoing fight for survival as she endured unimaginable abuse and hardship. In 1856, she and her husband fled with their children to Ohio in an attempt to escape their lives as slaves at Kentucky’s Maplewood Farm. Facing recapture, Garner made the chilling decision to attempt to kill herself and her two children rather than see them return to the bonds of slavery. As her husband was being dragged from their hiding place, Garner succeeded in killing her two-year-old daughter before being overpowered by a party of U.S. marshals. The trial of Margaret Garner became the longest fugitive slave case of that era. An intense national debate over whether she should be tried for “destruction of property” or murder directly and blatantly addressed critical questions that fueled the Civil War. The opera richly speaks on a human level and as a vivid portrait of one of the most difficult periods in American history. Tickets are on sale now. Call (312) 902-1500 or visit www.margaretgarnerchicago.org

Saturday Salute–The Women’s Board of the Bronzeville Children’s Museum, led by Geneva Bell, president, and Peggy Montes, museum founder and president, hosts its annual Kwanzaa in July Dream Makers Award Luncheon on Saturday noon at the Oak Lawn Hilton, saluting Bernard Clay, Michael A. Conley, Tim King, Rose McGill and Teesee. Other honorees include: Alleson W. Knox, Joshua E. Mason, Aaron Rouser. Afternoon highlights: an Afrocentric Marketplace (at 11 a.m.), libation ceremony, raffle prizes and entertainment. Heading the fundraiser are co-chairs Sheila Bowen, Arlene Sykes Alexander and Rita Allese Frey along with committee members Iris Atkins, Katherine Malone, Barbara Caldwell, Constance Montgomery, Thais Hudson, Arlene Pierce, Deloris Johnson, Patricia Robinson, Lillie Kinnard, Consuelo Williams, Bonnie McLeary and Theresa Williams-Smith. Call (773) 721- 9301 or visit www.bronzevillechildrensmuseum.com

Obama Bash–The Poor People’s Committee led by Juanita Passmore and Karen Phillips toss A Race to the White House: Let’s Have Fun & Place Your Bet on a Winner for the (Barack) Obama for America Campaign, on Sunday, 4 p.m.–10 p.m., at Hawthorne Racetrack, 35th and Laramie. A $50 donation includes a buffet, complimentary bar (beer, wine, soda), music by D.J. Sheron and the running of the “ponies.” Call (773) 643-7337 or (773) 512-3057. Tickets may be purchased at the door, but you must call in advance. And they’re off!

Newsy Names–Julieanna Richardson and The HistoryMakers plan An Evening With Eartha Kitt on Sept. 20 at Northwestern’s Thorne Auditorium. A plus: Kitt will perform! Ch. 9’s Merri Dee receives her “just deserves” when Friends of LaRabida Children’s Hospital honor her at “The Big Top Ball” at the Four Seasons Hotel on Sept. 19. Sparkle Stewart stages another of her “Summer Simply White” parties on Friday, 7 p.m.-12 p.m., at Harborside International Golf Course, 10959 S. Doty, with complimentary edibles, parking and great networking. Rubye Wilson, freelance producer at ABC 7 Chicago since 2006, has been named the station’s programming producer. In 2004, she won a daytime Emmy Award for her work on NBC Universal’s Starting Over. Armed with a B.A. degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University (in DeKalb) and a solid background in television programming, Rubye has produced specials for Fox Network; 36th and 37th NAACP Image Awards; Sony Pictures’ Pat Croce Moving In; and Warner Bros./Telepictures’ The Judge Mathis Show. She began her broadcasting career in 1998 in the Chicago bureau at ABC News One. Handsome Hill Harper of CSI:NY fame speaks and signs copies of his new book, Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny, on Saturday, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., at Woodson Library, 9525 S. Halsted, hosted by African Ameri-can Images.

Pulpit Priority–Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III (“Rev. Freddy”), senior pastor of the 9,000-member Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas and one of the nation’s most in-demand guest speakers, comes this way Wednesday and Thursday to preach at the Annual Revival at Trinity United Church of Christ, pastored by Rev. Otis Moss III. Other clergy to speak during the five-day revival: Rev. Howard- John Wesley, Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, Va.; Rev. Dr. Maurice Watson, Beulahland Bible Church, Macon, Ga.; and Rev. Dr. Allison Gise Johnson, dean of students for the 2008 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and a teacher of graduate courses in Womanist Theology and Ethics, Christian Ethics, and United States Religious History and Perspectives in Black Theology. Call the church, (773) 962-5650, for specific dates and times.

Unity ’08–ABC 7’s early, early morning anchorman, Hosea Sanders, hosts a “green” reception celebrating the Unity ’08 Convention, A New Journalism for a Changing World, on July 25 at Haberdasher Square Lofts. Unity ‘08, July 23- 27, touted as the largest gathering of journalists of color, is expected to attract 10,000-plus journalists and media execs here to discuss issues affecting journalism and the media industry. Unity has four alliances: Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Native American Journalists Association. Their mission: to advocate fair and accurate news coverage about people of color and aggressively challenge the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation’s diversity.

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