Thursday, October 29, 2009

DuSable Bust Unveiled In Chicago!

It was a great day for Chicagoans on the Magnificent Mile as city officials, dignitaries, Haitian Americans and Chicagoans all rejoiced in celebration at the historical unveiling and dedication of a bronze bust of the founder of Chicago, Jean Baptise Pointe DuSable. Flags were waved, songs were sung, speeches were given and tears flowed, as the bust of DuSable was unveiled to a cheering crowd on Saturday, October 17, 2009.
The bust is located on the Michigan Avenue bridge just north of the Tribune Tower. This site has been noted by some historians as the area that the fur trapper and trader, DuSable first settled and built his home in Chicago.
The first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago,
Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, who was a man of mixed African and European heritage born in Saint-Domingue (modern day Haiti), arrived in the 1770s, married a Potawatomi woman, and founded the area’s first trading post.” Source -Wikipedia on Chicago.

Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable (before 1745? St. Marc, Saint-Domingue
(now Haiti) - August 28, 1818, St. Charles, Mo.),[1] popularly known as "The Father of Chicago",[2] was a Haitian colonist in North America of mixed French and African ancestry. Du Sable was simultaneously the first known nonindigenous settler and the first African-American/Afro-Caribbean)] in the area which is now Chicago, Illinois, in recognition whereof he was declared
the Founder of Chicago by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago on October 26, 1968.[3] -Source Wikipedia

Mr. Lesley Benodin, a Haitian-American who has lived in Chicago for the past forty years, donated the bust as a gift of public art to the City of Chicago. Mr. Benodin’s efforts were aided with the logistical assistance of a group of Haitian business and civic-minded individuals including Mr. Harry Fouche of Chicago and Ms. Aliette Marcelin of Evanston.

The groups’ mission was to offer and to provide the City of Chicago with a monument honoring Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable in recognition of DuSable as the first successful businessman in Chicago, to celebrate business here in Chicago and as another expression of the presence of the Haitian-American community here in the city.

Prior to this bust, the most well-known commemoration of DuSable is the DuSable Museum chartered in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Burroughs.
The DuSable Museum of African American History is the first and oldest museum dedicated to the study and conservation of African American history, culture, and a
rt. It was founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs (Margaret Goss Burroughs), her husband Charles Burroughs, Gerard Lew, and others.
Dr. Taylor-Burroughs and other founders established the museum to celebrate black culture, then overlooked by most museums and academic establishments. It is located at 740 E. 56th Place at the corner of Cottage Grove Avenue on the South Side of Chicago in the Washington Park community area.
The DuSable Museum is the oldest and largest caretaker of black American culture in the United States. Over its long history, it has expanded as necessary to reflect the increased interest in black culture.
The museum was originally located on the ground floor of the Burroughs' home at 3806 S. Michigan Avenue.[2][4][5]
In 1968, the museum was renamed for Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, a Haitian fur trader and the first non-Native-American permanent settler in Chicago.[6][7] During the 1960s, the museum and South Side Community Art Center, which was located across the street, founded by Taylor-Burroughs and dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt,[8] formed an African American cultural corridor.-Source Wikipedia

The day was of special significance to the eighty-nine year old, Bessie Neal, former president of The DuSable League.
Mrs. Neal and the DuSable League (a group of former Chicago teachers formerly known as the DuSable Memorial Society) have worked tirelessly for many decades advocating for the formal recognition of DuSable as the founder of Chicago and for a statue to be placed in his honor in Chicago.
The day was equally as poignant for Haroon Rashid, president of the Friends of DuSable, a diverse, multiracial group that advocates for the legacy of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable in the State of Illinois.
Rashid stated that he was he was particularly proud to see that the language on the bust that referred to DuSable as the founder of Chicago because in 2006, the Friends of DuSable group and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations African Advisory Council co-produced an ordinance that recognized DuSable as the founder of the city of Chicago.
The ordinance is called The DuSable Commemoration Ordinance.

Currently, Friends of DuSable has been working with city officials, aldermen and a variety of multiracial groups including the French Consulate, the Haitian Consulate, various African American groups, Native-American groups, the DuSable museum and Friends of the Parks to create a commemorative park and DuSable Welcome Center and River Museum.
This group has celebrated the Chicago’s birthday, annually on March 4 at the Chicago History museum and other venues with multicultural activities and programs to honor the city and DuSable.
At the unveiling, Mr. Rashid also stated, “We are all grateful to Alderman Brendan Reilly and his civic leadership and support for his bid to pass through City Council a resolution renaming the Michigan Avenue Bridge to the Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Bridge. It is an initiative deserving of support.”
The bronze bust of DuSable was created by artist, Erik Blome.
The City has accepted the art gift through the Department of Cultural Affairs.
All Photos by Aki Antonia c2009. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Black Age XII -The Black Age of Comics Convention! Oct 9-11

The Black Age

is the Indie-Alternative!

One of Bronzeville's most futuristic visionary artists...
Rhythmistic artist and creator of the The Black Age of Comics, Turtel Onli and Onli Studios will host the 12th Black Age of Comics Convention at during Chicago's Artist month on Oct 9-11th, 2009 in Chicago.
Onli coined the term, "The Black Age of Comics" to identify it as a genre of creative works that are derived from the Black or African experience in an indie-alternative manner.
BLACK AGE XII will take place in the Hyde Park area of Chicago which is the home of President Obama, along with being the birthplace of the Black Age movement.
The world's first Black Age of Comics Convention was given at the historic Southside Community Art Center in the the Bronzeville area of Chicago in 1993.
It featured illustrators-artists, Craig Rex Perry, Tim Jackson, Turtel Onli, & writer, Cassandra Washington. There are are now four conventions nationwide.
The other three conventions include ECBACC (East Coast Black Age of Comics Con, the Detroit Black Age of Comics Con and the most recent, Onxycon held in Atlanta in the summer of 2009.)

The Black Age is the Indie-Alternative!

Kenwood Academy HS
5015 S. Blackstone Ave
Hyde Park, Chicago,
$5.00 Adults $2.00 Kids
Oct. 9th,2009
Eric Battle, that Black Age great and illustrator for DC Comic's Spectre and Batman along with other amazing projects will be signing his books and kickin' it with fans, collectors, students, and everybody else at the Graham Crackers Mega Comic Book Store at 77 East Madison Ave in downtown Chicago.
Later that day, Eric will be at the First Aid Comic Book Store in Hyde Park.
The next day, he will be featured in workshops at the Black Age Convention site at the Kenwood location from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

Oct. 10th, 2009
BLACK AGE XII will be at the Kenwood location as listed above.
It will feature Doc & the INTER-FAN crew doing a presentation on the late legendary Black Age Underground Comix master creator and innovator,
Grass Green.
They will also be holding it down for the radical indie-alternative comic book crowd.
There will be an indie video competition and a viewing of the first ONYX CON DVD from Atlanta and the Chicago Comic Con this past summer.

Onli will present a "State of the Black Age" lecture followed with a Q&A session.

Fans and collectors will be able to buy directly from the indie publishers and artists on hand. Students, educators, and emerging professionals will find this group of creative folks very inspiring.

Oct. 11th, 2009
Signings will be scheduled at Afri-ware and the Azizi book stores. TBA

At the Black Age Xll, expect to meet vendors, indie-publishers, artists, & writers including Ashley A. Woods, Barbara Jenkins, LaMorris Richmond, Tim Jackson, Eric Battle, N. Steven Harris, Juan Arevalo, Raymond Leonard, Moe, Nino Meserina, Joe Currie, Spicey, Terry Huddleston, Yaound' Olu, Mike Smith, Punkin, Ernest Posey, Rod Jenkins. Robert Boyd, Kim Moseberry, Onli.......and many more!

The University of Chicago's radio station WHPK will be on site to interview fans, vendors, artists, and writers to get their spin on the Black Age movement.

Vendor Info : Contact ONLI STUDIOS at while they last!!!!

Lodging nearby: Ramada Lakeshore 773-288-5800
International House of Chicago ( U of C campus ) 773-753-2270

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jazz In the Alley-Chicago '09

Jazz in the Alley-Chicago-Aug 30, 2009
Guitarist, George Feeman lights up Jazz in the Alley!
Jazz lovers fill the park!
Move your piece here ....
Guitarist, George Freeman
Vocalist, Keyboardist, Theopholis Reed enjoys a spiritual moment...
We are people of the Mighty Mighty,
We are people of the Sun! Earth Wind & Fire!
Guitarist, George Freeman played well into the dusk!
It was a bit chilly... but we came prepared!
It's Chicago weather, y'all......
Keyboardist, Tim Gant, Bassist, Will Howard
and Ben Jamming Johnson were on fire with
vocalist, Bruce Henry, who mesmerized the crowd
with a fresh sound in Jazz vocals!
The Spirit lives on at Jazz in the Alley 09-Chicago.
A mural of the late Oshun, founder of this
30th year celebration of Jazz in the Alley.

All photos by Aki Antonia c 2009
All rights reserved.
Click on photo to enlarge!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pearl Fest in Bronzeville

Dianne Reeves, Lala Hathaway & Nona Hendryx!

rocked out the Little Black Pearl Fest Sunday, Aug 23, 2009.

the truth will set u free!...

Nona Hendryx ripping through her set.

The festival was held at Mandrake Park on 39th and Ellis in Bronzeville.
The festival was amazing and inspiring and the audience enjoyed the concert being right home in the neighborhood. Little Black Pearl is an arts education organization located in the Kenwood-Oakland neighborhood in Chicago.
All photos and video slide show by Aki Antonia c2009.
All rights reserved. Pop the trunk! (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bud Biliken Day in Bronzeville '09

Bamm!! Bud Biliken Day in Bronzeville
Let me see you groovin' on the dance floor baby!
Photo slideshow by Aki Antonia c2009

Bud Biliken '09!

All photos by Aki Antonia c 2009
Bud Biliken '09 was all in the mix
with Chicago House music thumping!
Drill teams pumping!
Double-dutch jumping!
Dance Crews bumping!
To enlarge pop the trunk! (Click)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bud Biliken Day in Bronzeville '06

Bamm! Bud Biliken Parade in Bronzeville
Photo Slideshow by Aki Antonia

Bud Biliken Day '08 in Bronzeville

Black Cowboys! Roll Em... Roll em.. Roll em!
Lots of Diversity at BB Day 08!
Are you passing out money? Yeah!!!
WOo it - WOo-it! Work it!!
Tyler Perry! Alright now!
4th Ward Alderperson Toni Preckwinckle
Fashion Statements are always made on BB Day!
5, 6, 7, 8!
Global Peace!
Summer in Chi town is Snowballs on Bud Biliken Day! Heaven!
All photos by Aki Antonia
(Click to enlarge)

Filled with snowballs, bar-b-que, pickles, politicians,
marching bands from Chicago and all over the country,
drill teams, beautiful majorettes,
African dancers on stilts, motorcyclists, Black Cowboys on horses,
Chicago House music crews, movie stars,
musical performers and fantastic floats....
The Bud Biliken Day Parade
is always a treat to see in Bronzeville.
Parade Route: 35th and M L King Drive to Washington Park
Time: 10:00 am
Saturday, August 8th, 2009
This year, 2009 marks the 80th Anniversary of the parade and picnic.
It was created by the Chicago Defender newspaper and is known as
one of the largest African-American parades in the country.
Families from the Bronzeville Community turn out early in the morning to line the parade route on King Drive.
Vendors and family picnics quickly fill up both side drives of the
large street that was once called Grand Boulevard.
The Bud Biliken parade also marks the effort to encourage students
to get ready to go back to school.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Turtel Onli•Rhythmistic Art Exhibit at ETA

Passion Fruit/ No Evils
Original Rhythmistic Artworks by Turtel Onli

Joy and Aki discuss a self portrait of Onli  titled, Fire. The painting captures the artist as he gazes into a fire which destroyed a huge amount his work from childhood until early 2002.

Rhythmistic artist, Turtel Onli opened his exhibit titled,  
Passion Fruit/No Evils on April 9 at ETA Gallery. 
The gallery is located at 7558 S South Chicago Avenue in Chicago. 
It continues until May 31, 2009.
For a view of the  cosmic opening ZOOOOM!! Press Play..............
All Pics and Slideshow by Aki Antonia
All Rights Reserved