Todd MacMillan

SSW Radio: Lena Waithe Talks The Chi, Personal Histories for Women’s History Month, and More

This week on SSW Radio we talked with South Side native Lena Waithe about her show The Chi; checked in on community developments in Woodlawn, South Shore, and Jackson Park; and highlighted the personal histories of three South Side women

To kick of Women’s History Month, we shared three stories from South Side women told at Englewood Speaks: I Remember When at Kusanya Café. In an ever-changing city, Clarence Hogan (aka Sonny Speaks), who developed and hosts storytelling series Englewood Speaks, explains the importance of storytelling: “When people look back on this community, it will tell a story of what it meant to live in Englewood at a certain time and a certain place.” This week, we featured stories from Debra Thompson, Rashanah Baldwin, and Jill Allison as they remembered their community way back when.

Residents of Woodlawn convened last Saturday for the ninth Woodlawn Community Summit. Weekly senior editor Christian Belanger attended and captured prayers, keynote speeches, and thoughts on the changing neighborhood from community members.

“This is Chicago from my lens and I think Chicago is vibrant. I think it is colorful. I think it is full of life,” South Side native and creator of The Chi, Lena Waithe, explained in an interview with the Weekly’s Olivia Obineme and Erisa Apantaku. The conversation covered the genesis of the Showtime series—a mix of James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and news reports from Chicago—and the practicalities of shooting a series in Chicago’s South and West Sides. Waithe also discussed Black queer representation in Hollywood and her new project Twenties, which was recently picked up by TBS.

“They’ve set their sites on a PGA-caliber course,” Weekly contributor Jonathan Ballew explains of developers in his conversation with SSW Radio hosts Andrew Koski and Sam Larsen. Jonathan joined us to discuss his reporting on the proposed Tiger Woods-designed golf course that would replace the current Jackson Park and South Shore courses. In the conversation, Jonathan, who’s been reporting on the proposal for the past seven months, talks about developers plans and community reactions to the new course.

And of course, South Side Weekly Radio wouldn’t be complete without the Weekly Read. This week, she schooled us on primary elections (early voted has started y’all!) and some Dred Scott Supreme Court history.

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