Who are the two most prominent men of color in the news this week?
R. Kelly & OJ Simpson.
They have been in the news for over 20 years for all of the wrong reasons and seem not to get the full extent of the law like most of us African American men would.
Let’s forget about them, stop the news coverage for that noise and end the debate of what they got away with and let’s get positive.
I got some good brothas for you know or re introduce to you.
Lee Bey, just named Vice President of the iconic DuSable Museum in Hyde Park (pictured), which is now affiliated with the historically significant Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
But let me tell you more about Lee, I’ve been following his work for years, back to when he wrote the architectural column in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The man knows Chicago, architecture, politics, art and urban design and planning.
And he’s a hell of a photographer.
He makes reading social media worth it.
His pictures, descriptions, his knowledge of history, quest for learning and profound use of the English language make him a one stop shop for urban architecture, history and culture.
He reminds me of another brotha who has done a lot for our city, country and culture and that’s Dr. Lonnie Bunch.
He heads the National African American Museum in DC and used to run the Chicago History Museum on North Ave (formally called the Chicago Historical Society), just a wealth of knowledge and brought all of that out for all to see in both institutions.
Even though you all might not agree, Ja’Mal Green is a positive force, he’s very young but is trying to get his Majostee All Stars Community Center going in the Ashburn Gresham neighborhood (west 79th Street), and is an activist as well as entrepreneur.
He’s also someone to follow on social media because he has “his ear to street” knows what’s going on and is willing to do something about it.
And when we speak of south side men making a difference I can’t go without mentioning my man Common (formally the hip hop artist known as Common Sense), he an actor, writer, rapper and activist.
The first rapper to perform at Ravinia (just a few weeks ago), has been socially conscious with his music for over 20 years, not profane and is on award winning productions both on television and Hollywood movies and he has big time roles.
Another good social media man to follow because he is so positive and keeps you informed from an artist point of view as well as someone determined to make a difference.
I can tell you personally from having met him, he doesn’t roll with an entourage or trying to be impressive, he’s low key, south side cool but the man means business.
Common hails from east 87th Street near Stony Island by “Pill Hill” for those of you familiar with that area and he put the south side on the hip hop map and did it the right way (not glorifying the wrong things), and hasn’t forgotten where he came from.
His work is organic like Whole Foods but on a budget we can afford.
Keep your eyes on these brothas, they are doing big things in a positive way that make us proud and inspire us to be positive and aspire to greatness too.
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