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October 19, 2018

2/7/2018 2:16:00 PM
Showtime's 'The Chi' Writer Sends a Shout-Out to Evanston and Evanston Schools
By Janet G. Messenger

Lena Waithe, writer of ShowTime’s new series, “The Chi,” sent a shout-out to Evanston during a Jan. 12 interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

Ms. Waithe moved with her mother and sister from the south side of Chicago to Evanston when she was 12. She attended Chute Middle School and Evanston Township High School in the later 1990s and credits Evanston and its schools with shaping her life.

She told Terry Gross, “Those experiences, I really believe, are the reason why I’m sitting here talking to you today. I think that really had a huge impact on me … Yes, I was in a suburb, but … , by no means, was I the only black kid in school. It wasn’t Skokie.

“Evanston was very diverse, and I went to school with kids from different socio-economic backgrounds, different races, different religions, different ethnicities and it was like going from, you know, an all Black school to “Saved by the Bell,” but in the best possible way.

“I remember hearing intercoms and I'm like, ‘What is this? What's happening?’ And it was just great. I really flourished. And I'm grateful that she [my mother] did that because it really helped shape the person I am.”

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