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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicago: Where Strong Blacks Still Exist!

Do you wake up in the morning and wonder...what happened to Black people? Let's face it. All of us come from predominantly Black communities, but many people think that is synonymous with living in a ghetto.

Says who?

Every Black person you cross has not grown up in the ghetto, in fact, many have grown up in very strong, predominantly African American communities like myself.

Over the years, on various websites, I've bragged and cherished the town I grew up in, Chicago, IL.

Why? is a city that reflects everything that I respect: hard work, Black pride, energy, family, originality, courage, heart and class.

Founded by a Black Haitian by the name of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable; is it a wonder why Blacks in Chicago have thrived? They are built strong here. No joke. During the 1960's, Chicago replaced Harlem as the Capital of Black America and has no rival anywhere.

I Grew up on Chicago's prestigious North Shore, where the median income, even in the 90's, was over $75,000. People drove nice cars and took care of their homes. Yes, the communities far north get a little more diverse, but overall, living is very comfortable.

I've always felt it was a blessing to live and work here.

My life in the city was fun and I thought I'd never leave. However, I had to move to Georgia in 2004 to go see about my mother. I was born in Augusta, Georgia many moons ago. It's the birthplace of the late James Brown. Great coincidence, but Georgia just isn't where I belong.

I've been debating if and when I move back to Chicago. Because...although I'm just a few hours from Atlanta; it's not like the Chi. And I really just want to go home.

For those of you who are thinking about moving to or visiting Chicago, please...I hope you're staying more than a week. There's so much to see and do. You'll love your stay.

The city of Chicago is known internationally as a World Class City. However, for most visitors, they never get a chance to see some of Chicago's famous vibrant African American communities that can match any areas in New York, like, Chatham, South Shore, Hyde Park, Pill Hill, Kenwood, Homewood, Flossmoor, Olympia Fields, Country Club Hills and Matteson, to name a few. These areas are on the South Side. There are also areas out where I grew up, Rogers Park(large WI population), Evanston(same as RP), Waukegan that boast very diverse populations.

In the 1960's, Chicago replaced New York as being the capital of Black America, which is the title it still holds. Louis Farrakhan, head of the NOI resides on Chicago's famed South Side. Also, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Micheal Jordan, R. Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West, the late Bernie Mac, Chaka Khan, Earth Wind And Fire members/leader Maurice White, and his brother Verdeen And of course, our President, Barack H. Obama, and his lovely wife Michelle. There are many that I haven't named, but I'm sure you get the picture. Michelle grew up on the South Side. There has always been a strong nationalist movement in Chicago and people are very much aware of issues that are affecting the Black community.

Chicago is a very political city and there are many in the Black community who are organized and active in all of the city's comings and goings.

What makes Blacks in Chicago special? They haven't lost their identities. They know where they come from and are some of the "realest" people you'll ever meet. No joke. Typically, they are not pretentious and have a strong "down home" appeal. There are those who came up from the South who still have their accents and then you have those who are as chic or more than those you'd see in New York, L.A. or Paris. It's s lively mix of people: talented, entertaining, funny, beautiful and warm. The Black folks in Chi are always going to say hello, but won't hesitate to tell you about yourself if you don't come correct. You like yourself better just being around them.

Again...I'm PROUD that I grew up there.

For anyone planning to visit or move to Chicago, you're making a smart decision.

You'll love the place.


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