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It is Black History Month in the U.S.A, a month to honor and reflect on the history, contributions, and services of black people.

I had the pleasure (again) of hearing the Chicago Community Chorus when it performed last month in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shabbat (Hebrew for Sabbath) Service at the Chicago Sinai Congregation synagogue at 15 West Delaware Place. The Chorus  reflects the diversity of Chicago. sang songs “from the African American and civil rights tradition,” embracing Black history.

The program noted that on Feb. 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (free of charge), the Sinai Congregation will show the film “Rosenwald” the “story of a Jewish partnership with African American Communities.”  Embracing history.

Julius Rosenwald (Jewish; 1862-1932), was an American businessman and philanthropist, who (allegedly through encouragement from Booker T. Washington; African American; 1856-1915; reformer, educator, author, and lecturer) donated millions to support the education of African Americans as well as housing for African Americans in Chicago. “He was also the principal founder and backer for the Museum of Science and Industry” in Chicago.  I spoke with an African American resident in Evanston (J.T.) who was very familiar with Mr. Rosenwald’s Chicago contributions.  I was not, so I look forward to seeing the movie, embracing history.

On Feb. 19 at 9 p.m., WTTW (Channel 11; Independent Lens) will air the movie “Tell Them We Are Rising,” the story of Black colleges and universities.  Embracing Black history.  This film will also be shown and discussed on the prior Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center.  

Last, but certainly not least: Do attend Black History Month lectures and performances at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, the Levy Center, and Shorefront.  Embrace Black History Month by visiting a month long series of events “Out of the African Diaspora to Evanston, Illinois: A Mosaic of Human Community.”(see article page 1.)

Post Script: A couple of weeks ago, an elderly woman with a walker shuffled in front of me to board a bus.  A young man (student?), who was actually ahead of this woman, did not board but turned instead and asked the woman if she needed assistance.  She must have said “no” because the young man stepped aside and watched the woman struggle to lift her walker and herself onto the bus.  I was impressed with the young man’s respect and concern for the elderly/disabled, so I decided to ask the young man for his first name to mention him in my column.  His name was/is Diego.  Thanks, Diego, you made my day and reinforced my appreciation of young folks.

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...