The wide boulevard where the Elam Home sits in Bronzeville has had many names, and the mansion, in place since 1903, has known all of them. The ornately carved windows—these days shuttered by gray boards—have peered out at over a century of history in an ever-changing city, watching as Grand Boulevard become South Park Way in 1923 and then Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in 1968. As the neighborhood became majority Jewish and then quickly became majority black; as the surrounding area earned a new moniker, Bronzeville, and a new reputation as a thriving black cultural center.
On Saturday, an estimated 250,000 Chicagoans joined over two million people around the world to march in favor of women’s rights and in opposition to the Trump administration. The march was officially called off and converted into a rally because of unexpectedly high turnout, but that didn’t stop the Chicago crowd, who spilled out from Grant Park and crowded the streets of the Loop, chanting all the while. Drawing large crowds new to activism, the march generated excitement about the beginnings of a mass social movement opposing the Trump administration. However, the march drew criticism from some veteran activists because of messaging that excluded trans women by equating womanhood with biology. These critics expressed hope that the large numbers of white women who marched would continue to show up beyond Saturday’s rally. The Chicago march’s speakers and performers indicated what this might look like, advocating for causes from immigrants’ rights to reproductive rights to the Fight for 15 campaign to Black Lives Matter. The list included many organizations and performers from the South Side. The Weekly contacted South Side performers, speakers, and participants to get their reflections on being part of the march.
“A song carried us through. A dance carried us through.” —Louis Farrakhan
“There’s no question that a lot of people are getting service that weren’t getting it before,” Mayer said of Uber’s ridesharing services, but at the same time, “most folks driving Uberx are not bopping over to Englewood or Pullman or Roseland to get a cup of coffee.”
I’ve lived in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on and off for about twenty years. Originally, I moved into the westernmost part while going through a divorce. It is a neighborhood of large courtyard apartment buildings and single-family homes. The shops along West 79th Street and along Ashland Avenue guaranteed I had no need to leave my community for anything. Public transportation is a 24/7 convenience, so not having a car wasn’t a problem.
In a dream I rode every bus and train
climbed into every color and number we know
and circled the city for days.
“Because right now it seems like ‘Oh, there’s just so much land, we have to get this into the private market or figure out what to do with it.’ But soon there will be none left, and whatever is left will be super expensive.”
At the end of the day, why does Rev. Jesse Jackson’s opinion matter any more than that of a freelance writer from Auburn Gresham?
To call XS Tennis Village, a 112,000 square foot, $9.8 million facility to be opened on the corner of 54th and State in Washington Park, simply a tennis center would be shortsighted. It’s clear from XS Tennis and Educational Foundation’s mission for the village, which will break ground this year, that the educational component of the name is just as important as the tennis. Continue reading
When I entered Cultura, an arts and community space on the corner of 19th and Carpenter in Pilsen, it was a quiet Friday afternoon. Just a block from Pilsen’s busy 18th Street, the snowy intersection was mostly devoid of cars and pedestrians. Inside, Cultura’s main room was also calm. The black stage against the front window was empty, and the white walls of the room were dotted with only a few works of art. Continue reading