Like some of the best restaurants, Calumet Fisheries is famous for being unassuming. It still sits where it has for the last seven decades, with the 95th Street bridge down the road and the scaffolding of the Chicago Skyway downriver. The surroundings have transformed over the years—the shack currently overlooks twin industrial silos—but the same words are emblazoned under the same red shingle roof, and the same fresh catches lie inside.
Dogs on the South Side shouldn’t need to drive all over the city to get out more and exercise.”
The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, which sits across from Corliss High School on 104th and Maryland, occupies a unique space both citywide and nationwide. After twenty-one years in operation, it remains the only black history museum in the country to focus specifically on labor history.
In the middle of an empty room was a Plexiglas cube—and at the bottom of the cube, a fine sheet of black powder. An imaginary moonscape? An abandoned terrarium? Perhaps anticipating these questions, Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann, the Chicago-based artists behind the installation Prevailing Winds and Relative Distances, pasted several pages of text around the room.
One of the most striking motifs found in The Disco’s of Imhotep, the newest album by Chicago musician Jamal Moss (stage name Hieroglyphic Being), isn’t musical at all: it’s a single word. “Kmt,” a simple anglicization of Egyptian hieroglyphs, is scattered throughout Moss’s discography. Here, it lends its name to “The Sound of KMT,” but earlier this year it served as the title for a collaborative album with his cousin Noleian Reusse in a project called Africans with Mainframes.
In The Weight of Shadows, his first book, Orduña recounts a lifetime as the “other”.
“You can’t walk aside no one’s body and ever think that you could be them.”
“That was the most pizza we’ve ever eaten in our lives.”
But the woman on the screen locks eyes with the audience—whispering that things are “partially true, and therefore totally false”—before her figure is duplicated, flipped upside-down, and inverted like a photographic negative.
On January 16, Liberty Baptist Church was packed shoulder-to-shoulder. Under the stained-glass windows, churchgoers swayed back and forth, singing along to “When the Gates Swing Open”—but with one notable absence. Otis Clay, who for decades had sung the very same song from the pulpit, was now in a casket.