On April 16, 2019, Chicagoans gathered on the playground at Woods Academy on 62nd and Racine, an Englewood elementary school that closed in 2013. They had returned for “Ain’t You Heard – What Happens to a Dream Deferred,” a storytelling event presented in partnership with Residents Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE), Borderless Studio, and Creative Grounds. After being welcomed by Anton Seals Jr. of Grow Greater Englewood and Asiaha Butler of RAGE, attendees participated in an evening of music, spoken word, visual art projection, and memory sharing.
In September, Young Chicago Authors (YCA) named Kara Jackson Chicago’s newest Youth Poet Laureate. An Oak Park resident, Jackson is the third Youth Poet Laureate after E’mon Lauren and Pat Frazier. In December 2018 and March 2019, the Weekly sat down with Jackson to discuss the process of crafting poems for her chapbook, coming out this fall from Haymarket Books.
Driving around Black neighborhoods in Chicago, you see a lot of currency exchanges. While reporting on wealth in Black communities this summer, Tonia Hill wanted to know what their impact is on working class communities of color and why it seems as though there are more of these types of financial services in South Side communities than banks.
Between her first mayoral run in 2014 and now, Dr. Amara Enyia hasn’t slowed down in her efforts to effect change in Chicago. She co-authored the book Chicago Is Not Broke and founded the Institute for Cooperative Economics and Economic Innovation, a social lab focusing on educating and assisting in the expansion of innovative economic models. On Tuesday, Enyia will launch her second mayoral bid at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport. The thirty-five-year-old, running with the slogan “all people, all voices, one city,” draws on a legacy of activism stretching back to her great-grandmother’s village in Nigeria.
This week, Chicago will host its first summit on issues of cooperative economics. Cooperatives—often called “co-ops”—are organizations that are mutually owned or operated by all those involved; decisions are reached together and resources are shared amongst those in the organization.
Melkbelly—comprised of Miranda Winters (guitar and vocals), Bart Winters (also guitar, and Miranda’s husband), Liam Winters (a bassist and Bart’s brother), and James Wetzel (drums)—recently sat down with SSW Radio in its cozy practice space in East Garfield Park. Amongst Christmas lights, a number of effects pedals, and jamming from adjacent practice rooms, Melkbelly’s members shared their feelings about their recent tours—headlining in Europe and supporting bigger names like Protomartyr and The Breeders—and provided a new meaning to the term yard sale. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Bridgeport hot dog stand Johnny O’s is going through a transitional time. If you live in the neighborhood or have been by the stand, maybe you’ve noticed a change in their hours. The family business has paused its twenty-four-hour service after losing two major characters in Johnny O’s history: John Veliotis, known as Johnny O, and one of his sons, John Jr., both passed away last year, followed by additional staffing cuts.
This week on SSW Radio we heard about summer plans for a beloved hot dog stand, a candid intergenerational conversation on domestic violence, and a harrowing story about a trip to Beverly.