A familiar face has brought his voice back to Chicago's airwaves.
Well-known Windy City media personality Art "Chat Daddy" Sims' new weekly show, "Real Talk, Real People with Chat Daddy" debuted on WVON 1690 AM. The broadcast airs 6-9 p.m. on Fridays. The show's format, according to Sims, is a first for the nation's oldest Black radio station, describing it as a "magazine-style" show.
"When I say a 'magazine-style' show, just imagine you're reading your favorite magazine," he said.
Magazines have a cover story, Sims said, while the inside may be filled with lifestyle or relationship stories. Sims has created a different kind of show, featuring celebrities and everyday people alikeBlack, white, gay or straight. They'll discuss hot topics, lifestyle issues as well as relationship issues.
Sims is a bona fide media talent. He's worked in print, radio and television in Chicagothe nation's third-largest marketfor nearly 20 years. Sims and Mark Lewis hosted "The Real Deal Experience" on BlogTalkRadio.
Sims has written for the Chicago Defender and was a columnist for Blacklines ( a Windy City Media Group product no longer in publication ). He also appeared on television on WCIU's You & Me this Morning. However, only one media genre truly enamors Sims.
"Radio has always been a major love," he said. "I can really be me. Radio is me … the stripped-down, natural me."
"Real Talk, Real People with Chat Daddy" will feature discussion of hot topics, lifestyle issues as well as love and relationships. Sims said no topic will be taboo. The show, in part, is meant to inspire and sustain sorely communication within the Black community.
"We, as a people, especially African-Americans, need to have much more open and honest dialogue about our lives," Sims said.
He said the community is reticent about "touching subjects that most people refuse to talk about." Sims wants to explore how tackling ignored topics can bring the Black community to "a place of healthiness."
How to help young Black men and the shortage of "good Black men" are among the topics ignored. Sims conceded that Black, gay men often get the blame for the small inventory. He pushed back on the claim.
"I've heard a lot of that. I've gone back and forth about that," Sims said. "I honestly think that Black men don't understand the concept of commitment, to begin with. I think a lot of them feel something better will come along."
Sims said he "found it funny" that many people got married June 1when Illinois' marriage-equality law went into effect.
"The crazy part is that I didn't see two Black men getting married that day," he said. "I only saw Black men with other races."
Sims himself is in a relationship with someone of another race. In order to protect his relationship, Sims said only five people have actually seen his partner.
"I'm so afraid I'll have to fight people to keep my relationship healthy and whole," Sims said.
While love and relationships will be focus, Sims plans to explore all facets of life. Other show topics include Illinois' concealed carry law, the negatives of texting and the economics of gay marriage.
"I hope people get good energy … get the power of positive vibes," Sims said. "I want them to take it seriously and have fun."
While he's happy this opportunity has come along, Sims said "everything comes with resistance." Stereotypes have spurred resistance of Black gay men.
"Often, [they] are looked on as characters," he said.
With that said, resistance isn't a new concept for Sims. Life, he said, is based on struggles. Discrimination has been at the root of those struggles.
"I've truly become a master of manipulation," Sims said. "Being Black is one thing; being gay is [quite] another."
Progress, Sims said, is in the eye of the beholder.
"As much as we are making history, there's a long way to go in being accepted and appreciated," he said.