Activism | Auburn Gresham

At the Pulpit

Cornel West speaks at St. Sabina's

Cornel West. MAGGIE SIVIT

Cornel West. MAGGIE SIVIT

As musicians tuned their saxophones and violins, the Sunday morning service at St. Sabina’s, on 78th and Racine, began with an announcement: “If you want to get married at St. Sabina, you must attend our seminar, ‘Becoming One.'” Continue reading

Politics | Queer

Illinois House Passes Gay Marriage Bill

The Black Caucus backed equality activists, despite South Side activism by opponents

This week, after nine months of uncertain deliberations, legislators in Springfield narrowly passed a bill that made Illinois the fifteenth state to allow gay marriage. The Illinois Senate had passed the measure this past February, but the House, worried about a lack of support, had postponed a vote until now. It was a heavily-lobbied and heavily-publicized process, intensified by the emphasis placed on gay marriage by both advocates and opponents this legislative session. However, the fight was fought beyond both the halls of the Illinois legislature and the liberal urban and conservative rural populations most associated with the debate. It also played out on the South Side of Chicago, demonstrating a split in African-American politics over social issues. Continue reading

Stage & Screen

Ali Standing Still

Kartemquin’s “The Trials of Muhammad Ali”

DAVID FENTON/ARCHIVE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

DAVID FENTON/ARCHIVE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

Bill Siegel’s new documentary, “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” introduces us to Ali as an Olympic champion. In a truly impressive collection of footage, he is seen standing on the Olympic podium, discussing his boxing prowess with reporters, and generally declaring his invincibility to the world. In 1960, at the age of eighteen, Ali was already threatening to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Siegel sets the scene primarily through the words of equally arrogant white reporters: Ali will never do this; he’ll be beaten to a pulp; why can’t he stop talking for one minute? Of course, Ali shocks the world (but not the audience) by trouncing the reigning champion, Sonny Liston. Continue reading