Archive for the ‘books’ Category

by April Lawson

What if Ebony could have twittered 15 years ago?   This would have been  a Herculean innovation for the home of now defunct WJPC Radio and it’s 8-track tape machines. If you want a great read about an iconic publisher set right here in your own backyard, then this weekend you gotta get Living The Ebony Life: E-Mails from the Plantation by Zondra Hughes. The book signing will be at Azizi Books in Matteson, this Saturday March 13th from 2p.m. to 4p.m.

Zondra Hughes worked as an associate editor for Ebony from 1999 to 2006, and as she illustrates in her latest work, sometimes your dream job can become your worst nightmare. Living The Ebony Life: E-Mails from the Plantation is the compelling insider’s tell-all of life at the No. 1 magazine in Black America.

“New media didn’t derail Ebony magazine,” Zondra says, “bad management did.” In EBONY LIFE, she provides the context for the magazine’s recent woes with a shocking paper trail that exposes the work conditions under a few rogue overseers, collectively referred to as ‘The Man.’

Ms. Hughes made her literary debut on the outrageous and over-the-top Wendy Williams smash hit, Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood! (Pocket Books/Karen Hunter Publishing). She is currently the editor of N’Digo, and a featured blogger for both The Huffington Post and ChicagoNow. For more information visit www.livingtheebonylife.com.

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]Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

Authors and Artists Chicago celebrates its 6th year with a 3 event 12 hour day this Saturday. The event features independent writers, artists, and music acts at 3 different locations around the Chicagoland area.

Saturday from noon to 5 Azizi Books at Lincoln Mall in Matteson hosts a book signing featuring workshops on self publishing and how to write your first book. Featured author will be mystery writer Sylvia Hubbard, who founded the writer support group the Motown Writers Network and has held conferences on writing, self publishing and blogging. (For more information visit www.azizibooks.com ). Admission is free.

From 6 – 9PM the events moves back into the city for “Art Across Cultures” at Murphy Hill Gallery 3333 West Arthington 3rd Floor of the Homan Square Building. The super gallery will host over 20 artisans and also will host the featured authors for a book signing. Admission is free www.murphyhillgallery.com

Tonight at 9 Ai Japanese Restaurant will host “Unplugged” featuring performances by top independent acts Spike Rebel, Aniba Hotep and Paulette “Passion” Stinson. Admission is $25. As part of this event 2 lucky attendees will win 6 day cruise vacations in a special drawing.

For more information on the events visit www.authorsandartistslive.com

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team


This Labor Day Weekend, the African Festival of the Arts celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Washington Park!  It is always a favorite and highly-anticipated way to end the summer and this year will be no exception!  Enjoy vendors with a variety of fabulous merchandise:  art, photography, clothing, accessories, body products, jewelry and so much more; delicious food; and, fantastic musical acts, including The Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamal, George Clinton and many more national and local artists, fashion shows and dance.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and spend the whole day with plenty to keep you occupied and plenty of room to spread out, relax and regroup, and then continue to check out the vendors in the African Marketplace! 

Theres Something for All Ages!

There's Something for All Ages!

And don’t forget about the Pavilions where you will find activities to suit every taste!  At the Children’s Pavilion youth of all ages can learn and enjoy games, music, dance, storytelling, theater, arts and crafts all day long! Contributors include: Hyde Park Arts Center, the Field Museum and other family-focused institutions that offer fun, educational and interactive programs. Many social service agencies will be represented in the pavilion to provide answers to family, parental and children’s questions.

The ICE Theaters Film Pavilion presents daily screenings of short and full-length films that interpret the culture and experiences of peoples living in all parts of the African Diaspora.  They’ll also feature a showcase of films produced mainly by black filmmakers from around the world, including a section of works produced for and/or by black youth. Enjoy free popcorn, get free movie posters and learn more about Black World Cinema, an independent film series available only at your neighborhood ICE Theaters.

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

The Festival is world renowned for its assembly of artists from around the Diaspora featuring original paintings, sculptures limited editions, prints, photographs, and ceramics. This year, the Fine Arts Pavilion will include artists such as Stacey Brown (festival artist of the year), Emerson Williams, Uwa Hunwick, Bayo Iribhogbe, Frank Frasier, Melvin King, Rondell, Nii-Oti, Akosuah Bandele, Marvin Sims, Ousmane Gueye, Dana Easter, Dimali, Isodor Howard, Samuel Akainyah, and Dayo Layoe.

Visit the AFA Pavilion Page for more on the Chrysler Financial Pavilion, Author and Book Pavilion, Meet the Artists Media Tent, The Drum Village, Spirituality Pavilion, Health and Wellness Village, Cyberspace Pavilion, Quilting Pavilion and the HipHop Stage and Pavilion!  Visit the Festival Schedule Page for the full entertainment schedule, created by Soleil’s To-Dos and featuring the wonderful, interactive calendar features that you’ve grown to rely on!

Just Chillin

Just Chillin'

But wait – there’s more To-Do!!!  That’s right – be sure to visit the “All Chill Zone” at the Soleil’s To-Dos booth.  (You’ll find the booth number and location at www.so-LAZE.com, on the Facebook Page, through our Twitter Feed or by calling (773) 268 To-Do (8636).)  We’ll be stone cold chillin’ and giving you the perfect spot to catch up with friends, sit and eat, slap a few cards, wax poetic and groove to the beats – including live music!  Yes, thanks to Sam Martin, the Idea Doctor, you can expect some special guests to stop through and grace us with some mini-performances.  BYOChair, or cop a squat in one of ours, if available, and chill for a while!  We’ll also be doing some special giveaways including theater; concert tickets; dinners; and, for one lucky woman, a one-hour photo shoot with Lee Bey Photography!

So, whatever your plans this weekend, be sure to make a visit to the African Festival of the Arts!  The Festival runs from Friday through Monday, from 10am-10pm.  General Daily Admission, $10 in advance; $15 at the gate; Seniors and Children (Under 12 – over 65), $5; Daily Family Pass (2 adults and 4 children under 12), $30; Adult (4-day) Weekend Pass, $30.

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Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team
Have you ever been so excited about a movie? I mean really excited? Having read The Time Traveler’s Wife cover to cover a few years ago, I have been anxiously awaiting the premier of the film version for months. This time travel romance is essentially my summer’s Harry Potter or G.I. Joe.

The film tells the story of Clare (Rachel McAdams) and Henry (Eric Bana) as they attempt to overcome the challenges brought on by Henry’s genetic disposition, which sends him through time, sometimes for months, even years.

While McAdams and Bana are cast as the leads, the real star of The Time Traveler’s Wife is Chicago itself. Locals watching can appreciate how lucky the characters are to live in such a magnificent and versatile city, while doomed to endure its unforgiving weather. At one point, the fierce freezing temperatures prove to be a detriment to even Henry’s time travel, as he winds up in the hospital. That’s timeless Chicago: cold.

Familiar Windy City sights featured in the film include the Lakeshore, Newberry Library, the El, Lincoln Park Zoo and one of those charming “vintage” one bedrooms we’ve all experienced at least once while living in the city. Additionally, you can also visit Clare and Henry’s movie home yourself in Lincoln Square.

The film is based on the novel written by Audrey Niffenegger, a Chicago native and professor in the MFA program at Columbia College. The novel is a page-turner, and it’s disappointing to watch the on-screen adaptation with omitted scenes and characters (as well as complex character struggles), which might have strengthened the story’s climax. On The Today Show, Rachel McAdams concluded that as it’s a long book, the movie is “definitely distilled down,” but that the core of the on-screen relationship is true to the original story. If you’re a fan like me, the thought will likely cross your mind that “the book was better than the movie.”

But who doesn’t love Rachel McAdams? Her smile and acting talent is worth paying to see, as is Eric Bana’s performance in a serious, sentimental and romantic role. It only took one glance at Clare’s childhood home and the famous meadow, for me to think, “That’s just how I pictured it while reading the book!”

But it’s Chicago that steals the show. The seasons of the city alone make The Time Traveler’s Wife a timeless film. It’s a delight to see Chicago’s fall and winter, with such a short glimpse of warm weather, and wonder — as in real life — whether the city’s spring or summer actually exists.

Check out the trailer below or watch Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana featured on The Today Show.

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Glenn Murray, NBC Chicago Street Team

To stay in business 20 years is quite an accomplishment to do so in a rapidly changing and slowly eroding business is a near miracle! Tonight Dedry Jones , owner of the music experience celebrates 20 years in the music business at his monthly “Bronzeville Nights” Event.
Bronzeville Nights celebrates good music and gives you an opportunity to meet and network with fellow music lovers and hear music from local artists. At this edition of Bronzeville Nights, and the 20th Anniversary of The Music Experience as well as the 20th Anniversary of Peak Recording artist, Will Downing who will serve as the evening’s host. The event will be held at the Harold Washington Cultural Center 4701 Martin Luther King Drive. Doors open at 6 PM.

Music Experience store front
The Music Experience is an outgrowth of Track One Records and the marketing company, Right Track Entertainment. The Music Experience’s noted signature event is The Experience. This event has featured Grammy nominee Will Downing (three times), Grammy winner Al Jarreau, Grammy winner George Duke, Grammy and Dove award winner CeCe Winans, Lalah Hathaway, Rahsaan Patterson, and multiple Grammy winner, John Legend.

We wish Dedry continued success and hope he has 20 more years of creating great “experiences”.

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video) In this day and age of ringtone rappers, one-hit wonders, and soft-core sex-laden R&B, it’s like a breath of fresh air when a hidden gem can shine through all the filler. With a small selection of songs in commercial radio’s playlist, consumers sometimes are force-fed a daily dose of “microwave music” where the supply often overshadows the demand. Quality soul music is more abundant than one may think…you just have to “listen”. Julie Dexter is here to fulfill that demand. The world-renowned, Birmingham, England-bred, singer/songwriter displayed her dynamic range at a rare showcase this past weekend at the new “it” spot, julie dThe Shrine (located at 2109 S. Wabash). Julie Dexter’s vibrant style and jazzy vocals exude soul and her followers came out to support her. The showcase presented by IGM Entertainment had a record crowd turn out to hear the UK songstress perform favorites such as “Ketch A Vibe” and “Faith” off her 2002 album, “Dexterity”. The very popular jazz group, Zzaje, backed the intimate performance at The Shrine. Dexter, who has shared the stage with soulful legends such as Sade and modern heavy-hitters like Jill Scott, Eric Roberson, and Amel Larrieux kicked off her set with a tribute to another legend that inspired her by the name of Michael Jackson. She later transitioned to a jazzy bebop version of Beyonce’s “Déjà vu” that would have made the best “scatters” proud. After paying homage to other greats, Julie Dexter gave the crowd what they came to see…a one-hour set spanning her decade plus career from her first EP, 2000’s “Peace of Mind” to 2005’s “Conscious”. It’s not too late to get familiar with this classically trained musician who writes, arranges, composes and produces her own music. “The Julie Dexter Collection” drops this fall. Do yourself a favor and “Ketch the Vibe”. www.juliedexter.com

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Itika Oldwine, NBC Chicago Street Team
Back in 2007 a little known phenomenon called “The Secret”

The Secret

The Secret

seemed to be on everyone’s lips (including Chicago based media queen Lady O). First released as a film, then audio book and finally printed book, “The Secret,” the belief that “,we create our lives with every thought, every minute of every day,” started a trend of self development that took off at warp speed.

Fast forward to 2009 and personal empowerment seems to be everyone’s mantra. From self help spin-offs like “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything,” to our 44th President’s uber-effective and completely catchy campaign motto “Yes We Can,” it’s become a pretty general belief that each one of us holds the power to create our own destiny.

As a featured teacher in “The Secret,” motivational speaker Lisa Nichols

Lisa Nichols

Lisa Nichols

is one of the much loved crusaders of this movement. She’s here in Chicago Friday June 5 on the sixth stop of her eight city book tour for newly released “No Matter What!: 9 Steps to Living the Life you Love.” With the purchase of one copy of No Matter What! (available for purchase at the door) you gain free entry into the No Matter What Seminar held at Macy’s on State St. in the Narcissus Room. Come out and feel the super-charged energy of Lisa Nichols, what an inspired way to spend a Friday afternoon in the Chi!

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