We’ve come to see the Interview Issue as a place for a different kind of story. The necessities of the newscycle whittle down most interviews to their most barebones and essential parts, leaving out hours of storytelling, shared expertise, and personal histories.
In these pages, we’ve tried following the precepts of Chicago writer Studs Terkel, who viewed the interview less as an opportunity to get information and more as a chance for a meaningful conversation. A Studs Terkel-style interview can be a place for a subject’s story to breathe and expand beyond the corners of what might be considered newsworthy, transforming into something intimate and wonderfully public.
Flip through to find interviews with not one, not two, but six musicians: three members of pioneering footwork collective Teklife and jazz legends Maggie Brown and Jimmy Ellis. You’ll also hear from artist and Bernice’s Tavern owner Steve Badauskas on the history of Bridgeport, radio DJ K-Max on his time at WHPK, urban archeologist Rebecca Graff on the 1893 World’s Fair, citizen mycologist Viviana Gentry Fernandez-Pellon on using mushrooms to clean toxic land, and mayoral candidate Amara Enyia on drawing inspiration from her family’s activism. Along photographs and illustrated portraits, we have a beautifully shot, black-and-white photo essay focusing on Black women and femmes in Chicago.
Reading these stories, we’ve learned much, as we do every year, about the South Side and the people that call it home. We hope you do the same.
Continuing to Challenge the Status Quo: A family legacy of activism guides mayoral candidate Amara Enyia’s vision of social justice in the city
Beer and Bingo in Bridgeport: Steve Badauskas builds community around an old pastime in a changing neighborhood
On the Air With K-Max: The longtime WHPK DJ breaks down hip-hop history
We the Vanguard: Selections from a series of photographs of Black women and femmes shifting the contemporary culture of Chicago
Bones of the City: Urban archaeologist Rebecca Graff makes the case for digging up the past
From Rink to Radio: Ahead of the latest release from footwork pioneers Teklife, the Weekly sat down with three of its longstanding members
Soil and Sovereignty: Pullman resident Viviana Gentry Fernandez-Pellon uses mushrooms to heal a formerly toxic site in the neighborhood
Bringing Jazz Back to the Alley: In South Shore, an old tradition is revived for a day