Category Archives: African Americans

Mayor Harold Washington: Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago

If you’ve read Robert Caro’s biographies of Lyndon Johnson, you know what it’s like to be kidnapped by a historian who’s also a great story teller. The reading lamp burns late. I’ve just finished a new book on Illinois history … Continue reading

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1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

“I want kids to see that it wasn’t just Martin Luther King making things happen in the 1960s, it was local folks here as well. Just as it is today.” Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist, Museum of the Grand Prairie … Continue reading

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Trump Pardons Jack Johnson

On May 24, 2018, President Donald Trump officially signed a posthumous pardon for heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson. As a radical and a sports fan, it was a surreal moment on a number of levels. But to explain how, it is … Continue reading

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Nika Lucks

A column curated by staff of the Urbana Public Arts Program Nika Lucks is a local photographer originally from the Chicago Southside. Her most recent work, People of Speech: Part I, draws inspiration from parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, … Continue reading

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The Cops Killed Richie

No matter how much training or technology they get, the cops just can’t stop killing Black people. On a Wednesday morning, November 16, 2016, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Champaign police received a call about a “disorderly” subject, Richard “Richie” Turner, … Continue reading

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Daughters of the Dust and the Place of the Gullah/Geechee

I was first introduced to Julie Dash’s exquisite film in 2000, about nine years after its release. One of my dear friends at the time, underground hip hop legend Percee P, was an avid collector of black cinema and was … Continue reading

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