Congratulations to Lori Lightfoot who is making history as Chicago’s first Black woman and first openly gay mayor! Change is a constant force in life and we are witnessing rapid changes all around us.
In the over 30 years since the late Harold Washington last occupied the mayor’s office, many tried to recreate the
formula that catapulted him to two terms in office. Many of us in our “Bronze” community believed that
our next Black Mayor would come with a unified Black vote. This couldn’t have been further from the
truth as we witnessed in this last mayoral election. Lightfoot followed her own path and went by the beat
of her own drum and won. Clearly Chicago is ready for change.
And speaking of change, our team is immersed deep in “parade season” as we like to call it. This year we
approach the 90th anniversary of the Bud Billiken Parade! For those who don’t know, we also produce the
largest African American parade in the United States which means we celebrate many other milestone
anniversaries in our community. 2019 marks the 30th year of the African Festival of the Arts, founded by
Patrick Woodtor, the 25th anniversary of Little Black Pearl, founded by Executive Director, Monica Haslip
and the 25th annual Black Women’s Expo, founded and created by Merry Green (on our cover), President,
MGPG Events, Inc.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a traveling exhibition that began in London at Tate Modern last
year, “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983.” The latest A-list star-studded opening
was in Los Angeles and featured the fine art photography of my father Robert A. Sengstacke. His work was
part of a collection of artists from all over the country that make up a consortium of the powerful Black arts
movement. The international art world is finally recognizing the many contributions of African American
artists, including some of Chicago’s most revered artists whose work was birthed out the struggle, triumphs
and accomplishments revealing the resilience of our culture.
In this issue of Bronzeville Life we continue to inform, celebrate and highlight the accomplishments of the ever changing landscape of our community. A community that reaches further than the border of just one neighborhood, we reach the Chicagoland area and beyond as we continue to evolve and grow, so do our readers.
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