Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-26
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Remembering the Ancestors:
A quick look at art, theater and other events of interest during Black History Month
by D. Kevin McNeir

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

It's Black History Month once again. And there are a ton of things that you can do to learn more about Black culture. But before you begin planning your calendar and complaining that you don't have enough time to get it all in, recall how this month first got started. Historian and educator Carter G. Woodson is the man given credit for developing the concept of Black History Month. Actually, he only hoped for one day during which he planned to share knowledge about the continent of Africa and teach young students about important Black men and women of history —those who had traveled to or were born here in America—like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Phyllis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth and others.

But today that 'day' has evolved into one month. And it's a full schedule if you try to attend even half of the many things planned. We'll just mention a few here.

First, there's the theater and there are two shows that grab our attention. Check out Victory Gardens' Bourbon at the Border, the Chicago premier of Pearl Cleage's newest production. The play focuses on two couples whose lives are tragically changed because of their participation as leaders in the civil-rights movement. Their work and the memories from Mississippi not only haunt them, but leave them almost paralyzed—unable to fully live or love. One irony of the play is while the main characters live in Detroit and can 'see' freedom right across the border, they are unable to move and claim that freedom. Cleage is at her best when she tackles topics that most playwrights or authors are afraid of, and this play is no exception. A sneak preview of one scene from the play tells us this is one to look out for Chicago. Miss Cleage has done it again!

Then, on the other side of town (South), there's ETA's Whispers Want to Holler, written by Marta J. Effinger, which runs through Sunday, Feb. 23. The play is set in modern-day Louisiana where Olive Cross is faced with the dilemma of urban renewal and her own personal demons. It's a slow first act and one which needs more action to keep the audience involved, but the second half is certainly worth the wait. In terms of our ancestors, the play illustrates how dependent one generation is upon another. And if we have forgotten our history, it reminds us of the sacrifices that have been made from the moment our first ancestors were captured and forced to come to America through the generation of civil-rights activists and Black nationalists.

Again, the notion of freedom (or the lack thereof) is examined as is the idea of gentrification. The final scenes are particularly moving and if you are familiar with Chicago history, it may cause you to reconsider selling that family plot for a few pieces of silver. We recommend seeing this but hope that the writer and director will make a few necessary script changes to make it more lively and help make the connections in themes more apparent.

Moving to the art scene, there are two events that should be on your calendars. First, TaskForce AIDS Prevention will hold its 2003 community celebration at the DuSable Museum of African-American Art, 740 E. 56th St., on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. The event will be held in the Harold Washington Auditorium and Skylight Gallery and will include a fashion show, silent auction and raffles and will honor Lydia Watts from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition's HIV/AIDS Bureau. We congratulate her in advance for her outstanding efforts in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention on Chicago's South Side. Call (773) 324-1882 for information— support a worthy cause and see some fantastic art in the gallery.

The second event we've already heard about and can't wait to see is A National Juried Art Exhibition of contemporary art influenced by African Culture. Chuck Gniech, an outstanding artist in his own right and curator for The Gallery of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, 350 N. Orleans St., said he wanted to create an exhibition which would celebrate the variety of influences African culture has had on the contemporary art world.

Artists from around the country entered this juried exhibition—18 were selected by Gniech to exhibit their work. Some of the pieces make reference to slavery, bondage and social challenge and are represented in a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, metalwork, glass and photography. The exhibit runs from Feb. 1-28. An opening reception and awards ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

And who doesn't enjoy a good film—even a good documentary? While it is certain that PBS will have all kinds of outstanding work for viewers to choose from, like producer/director Stanley Nelson's The Murder of Emmett Till, which premiered Jan. 20th, some local venues have much to offer in the way of quality pieces about Black history.

One example is The Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street. During the month of January they presented two Chicago premiers, Nina Simon, Love Sorceress (remember she's the very Afrocentric sister who sang 'Young, Gifted and Black'—three words that once were never used in the same sentence) and Remember Marvin Gaye. While we didn't see the Simone piece, the documentary on Gaye was haunting and moving. Some of Gaye's demons that would ultimately destroy him are mentioned in his own recollections in footage taken during the early 1980s during his two-year hiatus from the U.S. The documentary rocks with live performances as well as some of the best of his music played during scenes in which Gaye is clearly battling to regain control over his life and his most gifted possession—his music writing.

C.C. Carter and Cin Salach

participate in an open-forum book discussion and performance Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m., Kindred Hearts, 2214 Ridge Ave., at the intersection of Ridge and Noyes, in Evanston.

C.C. also hosts her annual Women of Color Night at Mountain Moving Coffeehouse for Womyn Sat., Feb. 22, with many guests including LaTonya Peoples. Starts 7:30 p.m., 1700 W. Farragut (1 blk. north of Foster).

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

'Before Stonewall' at Siskel on July 5-10 2019-06-26 - The 1984 film Before Stonewall will run at the Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., on July 5-10. Given a new digital ...

Gay News

Bipartisan Stonewall bill introduced in Congress 2019-06-26 - On June 26, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin ( D-Wisconsin ), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer ( D-New York ) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ...

Gay News

Wrightwood 659 adds time and programming to About Face: Stonewall exhibit 2019-06-26 - ( CHICAGO, IL — June 26, 2019 ) Wrightwood 659 is proud to announce a two-week extension for About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and ...

Gay News

Generation Stonewall, the courage of generations 2019-06-26 - The journey to LGBTQ equality in Chicago—to the point where we have an openly lesbian mayor—was made possible by the courage of several ...

Gay News

BOOK The Children of Harvey Milk, How LGBTQ Politicians Changed the World 2019-06-26 - By Andrew Reynolds $34.95; Oxford University Press; 354 pages Your eyes are on 2020. One election is past and thoughts are on ...

Gay News

'Lavender Scare' director on very real tragedy 2019-06-26 - In 1953, in the midst of the Cold War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order that banned gays and lesbians from ...

Gay News

Buttigieg faces critical test over police shooting of black man 2019-06-25 - Openly gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg's meteoric campaign to become a top tier contender for the Democratic presidential nomination has been shaken by metaphorical ...

Gay News

Pride weekend celebration aims to capture the essence of Stonewall 2019-06-25 - Chicago DJ Marc Moder has been since last year collaborating a Pride weekend event that is both an "informative and reverential" celebration of ...

Gay News

StoryCorps Stonewall OutLoud initiative includes Chicago LGBTQ elders 2019-06-24 - As Pride Celebrations Nationwide Mark the Anniversary, StoryCorps Provides an Opportunity for One-on-One Reflection on the Impact of the 1969 Uprising, and a ...

Gay News

Zoe Spears is 10th Black trans woman slain in 2019, NBJC responds 2019-06-19 - WASHINGTON — On Thursday, June 13, Zoe Spears ( 23 ) was killed in Fairmount Heights, Maryland, a Washington D.C. suburb. Spears is ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.