Trumpeter Nicholas Payton EARL’S
WORLD By Earl Calloway English subtitles.
TRUMPETER NICHOLAS PAYTON and his Television Studio Orchestra return to Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., March 9. Payton's compositions are inspired by contemporary Hip-hop and the classic, his- toric sound of his hometown New Orleans, La. ORCHESTRA HALL, 2341 N. Milwaukee, The Jazztronauts of the Jazz Universe consisting of Dave Grilly- woodwinds; Lanny Grilly - drums, Jeff Kier - keyboards and Scott Hirtenstein - percussion. Also, David Byrd's “The Walking Dream” - A Musical Spiritual Journey of Joy! March 9 - 25. WALT WHITMAN AND ALLEN GENSBERG MEET IN “THE BOHO DANCE” live performance imagines a conversation between the poets. In the Boho Dance” the actors call and respond, often surprising each other with their poetic replies. March 10 - 11 at 7 p.m. at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior Street. For more information call 312-787-7070.
“ANTIGONA” March 8 - 10 at 7 p.m. in the Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. FREE. For more informa- tion, visit www.ExploreChicago.org/ricardhar-
ris. The production will be in Spanish with
CHICAGO SYMPHONY CENTER PRESENTS Soweto
Gospel Choir Sunday, March 11 at 9:25 a.m. The program blends African gospel, Negro Spirituals, reggae and popular music at the Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan.
By Ivana Hester
For many Africans making a new home in America is not easy. The information needed to start a new life is rarely easily available.
As a result, the United African Organization has posed as a bridge between the gaps. They provide Africans with the resources needed to become successful in their newfound home. Founded by
Kabba in 2005, the group’s Immigrant Family Resource Program has become a vital resource for newly arrived Africans here in Chicago. A 2007 count put the number of African-born residents in Cook County at about 35,000, but Kabba says the number is at least 40 percent larger today. A Community In Need
The program gives voice to the growing community that was under served, accord- ing to Kabba. A survey by his group showed that many new arrivals lack basic information about basic resources, he said. “The community was highly under
served. At least 70 percent of the respon- dents did not know about the Illinois Department of Human Services,” he said. “The UAO emerged in a time when there was an unprecedented growth,” he explains, adding that “more Africans arrived with in a decade here than any other period in U.S. history”. The UAO unites several different African organizations under one umbrella creating a large and diverse community, which has helped create a bond between many different African cultures. Uniting Africans in Chicago Since it’s beginning, the organization has developed a number of programs along with a monthly newspaper, the African Advocate, a website, weekly English classes and public education events. The annual Chicago summit on African Immigrants and Refugee, which has been going on for five years, has been a major way for the UAO to get the word out about their program.
This Week in Black History
March 7: 1985 - “We Are the World” sin- gle was released.
March 8: 1993 - Billy Eckstine died. March 9: 1871 - Oscar De Priest was born. March 10: 1913 - Harriet Tubman died. March 11: 1959 - Lorraine Hansberry's
play “A Raisin in the Sun” opened on Broadway.
March 12: 1955 - Jean Baptiste Point du Sable founded Chicago.
March 13: 1918 - James Rhoden was born. 16 CHICAGO DEFENDER / MARCH 7-13, 2012
No, they are adding something new to further keep the community connected. The task has fallen to Tara Weinberg a young South African working for the UAO who has a passion for helping the African people. Her job is to give Africans here a voice as well as help curate their history. She came to Chicago scholarship for a
master’s degree at the University of Chicago. Growing up in South Africa dur-
ing a time during its apartheid era, she was up fascinated by the idea of rebuilding the country.
She found the UAO at their yearly sum- mit and coming from Africa as well, she says she was looking for some kind of home base. Telling Their Stories
And so, she began her work with the UAO working on an Oral History Project in which she documents video footage of Africans in Chicago telling their history. The Africans will be featured telling sto- ries about their journeys and explaining how their transition has gone here in Chicago.
She says, “History is important as an educational tool for students, schools and so on, but for history to reach beyond the traditional institutions and for it to become public history and involve the community and get people to think about their past and contribute stories. While also, learning about people within their own community. The Oral History Project opened up the door for people to do that.”
The Oral history Project has now branched off into a even bigger project which includes podcasts to be shared online as well as the video documentaries combined, all of which will be posted on a website for world wide access. This will help unite African’s all over Chicago while also helping the UAO to learn how their organization benefits others and what they can do to improve. Tara says, “The aim is to raise funds to expand the project to interview a whole spectrum of immigrants across different education and class levels in Chicago.” The payoff from these projects, she says, is to take it to schools, churches and com- munity associations to educate the public about African immigrants. Hopefully, it will help dispel some stereotypes, she adds.
Ivana Hester is an intern with the Community Media Workshop
Africa to Chicago
Photo Special to Defender
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