Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mid-century modern homes in Chatham

8459 South Michigan - Eric Allix Rogers
In 2012, I posted  here about the modernist architecture legacy of Chatham. The many homes that were outside of the general character of that Black middle-class community had been documented over the years. And recently was documented at New City with the photography of one Eric Allix Rogers. I'd suggest you give it a read.

The takeaway is that 60 or so years ago Blacks were finally able to move away from the then Black Belt what we call Bronzeville today. While there may still be a dearth of housing options for that generation of Blacks even in spite of the end of restrictive covenants many found a place to create the suburban lifestyle they sought but weren't able to access.

Chatham was one place many were able to not only purchase a home in a nice area, they were also able to build a home. Probably a matter of buying an empty lot or tearing down a building to custom build a home. How many places in Chicago would one be able to do this today?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

TONIGHT: Elected school board taskforce hearing

Sorry about the last minute notice on this blog regarding this hearing. I did however post this on IG at least 4 days ago. Rep. Sims' hearing will take place tonight from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Chatham-Avalon Church of Christ at 8691 S. State Street regarding an elected CPS Board. I'm sure many of us are passionate about this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pray for Chatham today - #PrayChicago

This is a follow-up to a previous post about an effort to pray for all 77 of Chicago's community areas. Today is Chatham's turn.

We posted  Chatham's prayer requests, and had some interesting feedback on our Facebook page.

What are your thoughts? Are the requests accurate? What would you ask Chicago to pray for in Chatham?

Here's what PrayChicago posted:

Pray for the ‪#‎Chatham‬ community on ‪#‎Chicago‬'s South side. ‪#‎WestChesterfield‬

Here are some ways you can pray:

- New residents are moving into the area due to the closings of housing projects in other parts of the city. Pray that these new residents and for great respect and care for neighbors and the neighborhood.

- Pray for the elderly residents of Chatham, many of whom are widows and widowers. Pray that they may find community and would not feel overlooked in their later years.

- As the community is beginning to experience socioeconomic transition, pray that class struggles would not cause division among the residents.

- Pray for the followers of Jesus and the churches in this region, that the would be a light to this community!

www.praychicago.us ‪#‎Pray77‬ ‪#‎PrayChicago

And what JP Paulus posted:

PrayChicago is focusing on ‪#‎Chatham‬ Today (including ‪#‎WestChesterfield‬, ‪#‎Chesterfield‬, ‪#‎WestChatham‬ ‪#‎EastChaham‬ ) . I ( JP Paulus) also asked them to include this:
Would you mind re-issuing this later in the day, but also add these requests (feel free to tag/mention me as a Chatham resident if you'd like.):

Pray for unity among the churches. & community groups There are over 100 churches within 1 mile of 79th Street & King Drive. Pray that not just pastors, but members work with each other to complement, rather than compete, in their efforts. Secular community groups (as well as several churches) have undergone dramatic leadership transition in the past few years.

Pray for economic development. Several longtime, as well as new businesses have failed over the past few years, leaving very few businesses for residents to frequent.

Pray for youth: there are few opportunities for youth to grow, be mentored and to make a positive impact in their immediate community.

Pray for young leaders who grew up in the community to come back and take their place in leadership & community development.

#WestChatham (part of the community area, but separated by the Dan Ryan, so a little distinct)

What are YOUR thoughts?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Could we do this with some of our potholes?

I saw this piece of art near the intersection of Michigan/Ohio in downtown Chicago. It was formerly a pothole and then recently saw that a piece of mosaic artwork has been embedded in this pothole. My comments on ig was basically in support of such activity by an artists. Surely there are other parts of the city that may not get the services it should get where someone who cares about the community can do something such as this.

 Sooner or later unfortunately the city will probably destroy this piece, the artist Jim Bachor is not sanctioned by the city to do this. It's probably a wonder that Bachor hasn't been arrested by authorities for his activities and doing such a bold thing but going to such an active part of town to fill in a pothole with his materials.

I know there are more creative people in our communities who could do this with our potholes. Knowing this can only cost money if the businesses and residents of our community was able to do this with our potholes. Our IG post on this is below

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bobby Rush might step down as US Rep for the 1st district

Location: Chicago, IL, USA
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush

U.S. Representative for the 1st District (the US Rep for most of our readers) Bobby Rush might not run again , according to an article from Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed.

Rush and his wife have had health issues over the years, and some of his financial dealings have been scrutinized.

In addition to being a husband of a wife with health issues, the  68-year-old is also Pastor of Beloved Community Christian Church in Englewood.

Sneed reports that Brookins is circulating petitions to run for the office.

If Brookins does run, Sneed noted the scrutiny he will be under:

Ald. Howard Brookins Jr.
Earlier this year, a federal judge sentenced Curtis V. Thompson Jr., Brookins’ former chief of staff, to 15 months in prison for taking a $7,500 cash bribe at a 2013 Christmas party . . . and there were whispers of a wire being used.

Are there any other candidates we can look forward to? (Whether this race, or any other in the upcoming spring Democratic primary)?

Opinion from JP  (which we encourage discussion on):

I hope we don't have a Jesse Jackson Jr. situation again, where Rush still runs, and gets elected, but then resigns for "health reasons." We then get essentially an unelected representative (since in the general election 90% of our district won't vote for anyone but a Democrat -- not even a Green Party member!)

That would not be fair to the electorate, and shows why the Democratic establishment isn't any better than Republicans who do similar stunts in other states.

By the way, has anyone seen Rep. Rush in a public meeting or event in the past few years?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mahalia Jackson’s Home

Mahalia Jackson's home - 8358 S. Indiana Ave.
I missed this post from Chicago History Today posted in September talking about the history of the famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who purchase the house you see above in Chatham in 1956. The Chatham of the 1950s was a different community and it wasn't a Black middle-class neighborhood as it's known today.

When Ms. Jackson moved into this house there was racial tension, however, ultimately the whites in this community moved out. The fear that this community would become a ghetto proved to be incorrect.

An unknown to me tidbit shared from Chicago History Today, this house was home to a white surgeon who declared that he would be proud to sell his home to Jackson. Unfortunately many of his then neighbors disagreed.

Monday, November 9, 2015

StoryCorps Chicago: Former alderman says it sometimes felt like a 'useless task'

Former 6th Ward Alderman and sitting Cook County Judge discusses with StoryCorps her time as a member of Chicago's city council. She describes the job as a "useless task", but relishes the small victories even though she describes a treadmill where she can never keep up with the needs of her constituency. If you want to run for Alderman by 2019, this is an interview you need to listen to.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

PrayChicago prays for a Neighborhood a day

Location: Chicago, IL, USA
OK, some of the major controversy (at least with a member of Greater Chatham Alliance) is that the term "neighborhood" gets confused with the term "Community Area".

There are 77 official community areas. There are dozens more neighborhoods. The problem I mentioned is that some neighborhoods also have the name of the community , such as Chatham. The community area covers more than those who consider the Chatham neighborhood only between State and Cottage Grove, 79th to 87th.
The media labels a community area a "neighborhood", even if the neighborhood has a different name, and perpetuates the confusion.

All this to say, PrayChicago is a movement to have Christians pray for the city of Chicago. They have had rallies in different areas of the city, such as at Salem Baptist's House of Hope on the South Side in January (they return to House of Hope, January 20, 2016). There are a variety of leaders, including Dr. John Fuder, formerly of Moody Bible Institute and now with Park Community Church.

They are spearheading an effort to pray for all 77 community areas (though they are calling them neighborhoods) of Chicago, 1 day until their big even on January 20.

Here are some of the community areas we cover at The Sixth Ward blog:

Let us know what you are praying for in your community area, and let us know if we are missing any community areas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dreaded G-word redux

A reader sent in this link to a DNA Info article out of Pilsen referring to her neighborhod Chatham as "under serviced" because as she puts it: "so that all the middle-class, black folks will want to leave: then the white folks can return and take back the city."
Anti-gentrification signs have again popped up at Bow Truss coffee shop on 18th Street, this time reading: 'White people out of Pilsen!"

The coffee shop, at 1641 W. 18th St., has been vandalized five times in the last two or three weeks, Bow Truss owner Phil Tadros said Monday. The latest anti-gentrification messages, posted sometime late Sunday or early Monday, are in the form of stickers fashioned to look like the Chicago flag.

In January, anti-gentrification signs reading "Fresh Roasted Gentrification Served Here!" and "Wake up and smellllll the gentrification" were plastered over the windows at Bow Truss. The next weekend, the shop was hit again, prompting the Chicago-based owner to ask those targeting his store to come forward and talk about the polarizing issue.
On Monday, Tadros renewed that call. To date, nobody has claimed responsibility for the signs, he said.
I'm a long way from saying Chatham is under the "gentrification gun". But on the fb page I see there are those who believe it's coming. I'd be very curious to hear from those who do and those who may not see it.

Perhaps it's time to revive an old discussion "gentrification prevention" or Chatham "South Looped".

BTW, I like how Tadros the owner of this coffee shop is attempting to handle this situation. At the same time, it appears those who opposes this business and gentrification may have no interest in talking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

#mbmhmc Rally for Interconnectivity

A rally this weekend in Chatham. In support of Jahmal Cole's Explorer's Club which is his way of exposing teenagers to other parts of the city. A worthwhile cause to support.
  • Rally for Interconnectivity

    Community Captains

    I'm looking forward to having lunch with you on Saturday, November 7th, in Chatham. I do hope you can join me, as I'm anxious to meet with and learn more about all of you-and I'm excited to share our purpose with each of you.

    As straightforward as I can say it, we will be marching down 79th Street, holding "picket" signs that read "Inter Connectivity" "77" (referencing all 77 Chicago community areas) and, of course, signs promoting My Block, My Hood, My City. Feel free to make your own signs, as well-I want your voice to be heard, too.

    You might be wondering why we'll be doing a march. Part of the "why" is told by history. A march was the form of public demonstration that helped Martin Luther King Jr. enthuse passion in citizens of all races, and marches have helped other civil rights leaders raise awareness and peacefully protest throughout the years. But there's another reason to our "why." To be honest, we're doing this for to uplift our spirits and help raise awareness for the Explorers' program. During our short half-mile walk, we're creating awareness to our vision of an interconnected Chicago. We're more than diverse-we'll be demonstrating our commitment to equal opportunities amongst all Chicagoans. The best way you can support the Explorers' program is to join us in our March for Interconnectivity. We'll talk more about our specific organizational needs at the luncheon. I'll buy Chicken and waffles for the 1st fifty people. Captain Hard Times has a lot of great food options too.

    We'll gather at 11:00 AM at PRIDE CLEANERS PARKING LOT on 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619.

    While you're there, be sure to notice Pride Cleaners' sign-it's a Beacon of Hope for the Chatham community. After a brief rally for interconnectivity, we'll take a walk east on 79th for few blocks until we get to Cottage Grove, and enjoy Chicken and Waffles at a local hidden gem business named "Captain Hard Times." Lunch is my treat and my way of thanking you for supporting our cause.

    WHEN: Saturday, November 7th at 11:00 am
    WHERE: Meet at PRIDE CLEANERS PARKING LOT 558 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619,
    LUNCH: Captain Hard Times Restaurant: Chicken and Waffles
    WHY: Rally for a more interconnected Chicago. Together, we can make a difference in a teenager's life and in our city. See you on November 7th.
    I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and experience different cultures, ideas, and perspectives. Wear your Hoodie. Explore Chatham!!

    Jahmal Cole | My Block, My Hood, My City