January may be a slow month for most industries, but for news in Chicago, things are already heating up.
The Washington Post had me on a number of stories this month, starting with a story out the West Side involving a Facebook Live videoing of the torture of a special needs victim. Read more here.
President Obama flew to town to give his farewell address to a room of supporters at McCormick Place. I was there but ducked out early to head to Bronzevile to talk with people at various viewing parties who, in their own way, was saying goodbye to their hometown president. I made note in this story for the Washington Post that, to them, Obama was not just a sitting president, he was also their neighbor.
I also have a story out this month, still pending, on why activists for police reform in Chicago are suddenly worried their progress will be rolled back during a Trump presidency. The story is not yet live but I’ll post it this week when it runs.
On Monday I’ll have the major feature in Crain’s Chicago Business that explores why Chicago historically has played down its incredible legacy of blues, jazz, and gospel. Unlike smaller cities like St. Louis, New Orleans, and Memphis, Chicago has no museum, statues, signage, and other indications it is proud — or even understands — its most famous global cultural export. The story gets deep into the reasons why this is the case and looks at suggestions things may change. We’ll see. Out of everything I’ve written about over the last 20 years, I’ll admit this topic is one that is close to my heart and I’m proud to keep it front and center so the conversation doesn’t stop. Read it here.
Finally, I started teaching a new media writing class at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The semester is already underway and there’s certainly enough in the headlines to keep us busy through May!