WBEZ | Great Migration http://www.wbez.org/tags/great-migration Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Afternoon Shift: Isabel Wilkerson, libraries and Chicago theater http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-13/afternoon-shift-isabel-wilkerson-libraries-and-chicago-theater <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flickr margaretv.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today Niala talks with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson about the Great Migration. We explore the role of the library in light of the Waukegan Public Library&#39;s National Medal for Museum and Library Service award. Then a look at Chicago&#39;s theater and waterfront scenes. <script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-isabel-wilkerson-libraries-and-chi.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-isabel-wilkerson-libraries-and-chi" target="_blank">View the story "Afternoon Shift: Isabel Wilkerson, libraries and Chicago theater " on Storify</a>]<h1>Afternoon Shift: Isabel Wilkerson, libraries and Chicago theater </h1><h2>Today Niala talks with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson about the Great Migration. We explore the role of the library in light of the Waukegan Public Library's National Medal for Museum and Library Service award. Then we talk Chicago's theater and waterfront scenes. </h2><p>Storified by <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ"></a>&middot; Mon, May 13 2013 10:19:33</p><div><b>Isabel Wilkerson:&nbsp;</b>Pulitzer-prize winning journalist<b> Isabel Wilkerson</b> joins us to talk about The Warmth of Other Suns; the One Book, One Chicago selection about the Great Migration. We pose the question: if your family came here during the Great Migration, do you consider yourself immigrants?<br></div><div>Isabel WilkersonFrom World War I to the 1970s, some six million black Americans fled the American South for an uncertain existence in the urban North and...</div><div>Great MigrationDid You Know? Context and Causes of the Great Migration After the post-Civil War Reconstruction period ended in 1876, white supremacy was...</div><div>Latest One Book, One Chicago: 'The Warmth Of Other Suns'The latest iteration of the Chicago Public Library's One Book, One Chicago, which features discussions, performances, lectures, and other...</div><div><b>Libraries:&nbsp;</b>The Waukegan Public Library won this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service award for a program that uses volunteers both to promote the library to Hispanic residents and ask what services people need. Founded in January 2012, the library has started conversational English classes and pre-GED programs--far beyond the traditional library task of lending books and offering a quiet space to read. Waukegan Library Executive Director&nbsp;<b>Richard Lee&nbsp;</b>joins our conversation with<b>&nbsp;Patricia Saldana Natke</b>, founding partner of UrbanWorks, a Chicago architecture firm that has been leading design discussions on how the library of the near future will function. What do you want your library to be?&nbsp;</div><div>Waukegan Public Library gets national award at White House ceremonyAt a White House ceremony Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama honored the Waukegan Public Library for setting goals more ambitious than ...</div><div>Even in the Digital Age, Many Library Patrons Say Traditional Uses Are ImportantAbout seven-in-ten of those who used a library over a 12 month period did so to borrow print books or to browse the shelves. The internet...</div><div>What's a Library?GET UPDATES FROM Michael Rosenblum Library under construction -- along with a 50 story hotel and condo.... I live across the street from ...</div><div>Social Media: Libraries Are Posting, but Is Anyone Listening?This is the fourth in a series of articles in which Nancy Dowd will examine the results of an exclusive survey of library professionals f...</div><div><b>Chicago River:&nbsp;</b>The Chicago River is now the focus of major attention. Mayor Emanuel has made physical improvements along the river’s Main Branch a priority in his first term. And the river has been the subject of several studies, including one in 2011 that has called for undoing the engineering that famously reversed the river more than a century ago. A<a href="https://mail.wbez.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=0QFU2FNLaUSkIhE7-vRncrPJfWSSI9AIUElEsrCflYHtm6GCKWviMTLwV1uMiOng2PXE9iUPw5U.&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.chicagoriver.org%2fupload%2fFor%2520Immediate%2520Release%2520--%2520Clean%2520Chicago%2520River%2520Can%2520Be%2520Multi-Billion%2520Dollar%2520Economic%2520Engine.pdf" class=""><u>&nbsp;new study</u></a>&nbsp;from the organization Friends of the Chicago River and the conservancy group Openlands indicates a cleaner and improved river would be a multi-billion economic engine for the region.&nbsp;What’s the Chicago River’s future? What should it be and what stands in the way of needed progress?</div><div>Report: Drop money in the river, watch it float backThe glitzy towers of downtown Chicago are filled with offices that boast impressive financial returns, but their biggest cash flow may be...</div><div>Environmental Groups Tout Financial Benefits Of Cleaning Up, Improving Chicago River&quot;Water quality makes a tremendous difference in how we can interact with the river, but also provides us jobs; it provides us business re...</div><div>The Chicago River Is Now Running in the Opposite DirectionHeavy rain in Chicago has maxed out storm water storage facilities and caused officials to &quot; re-reverse&quot; the Chicago River into Lake Mich...</div><div><b>Robert Sickinger:&nbsp;</b>What can off-loop theater learn from its past? With the death of Robert Sickinger, the unofficial founder of off-loop theater, we look at what was built and how it has sustained over the years.&nbsp;</div><div>Robert Sickinger dies, brought grassroots theater to ChicagoRobert Sickinger came to Chicago in 1963 as director of Hull House theater on Chicago&rsquo;s north side. But in six short years, he gave...</div><div>Sorry to hear about Robert Sickinger passing, but grateful for all he contributed to Chicago theater: http://trib.in/11WcszTGoodman Theatre</div><div>Remembering Robert Sickinger, a pioneer of off-Loop theaterAnita Evans/courtesy Columbia College Chicago I've been trying to figure out what to say about former Chicago theater director Robert Sic...</div><div>Watch &amp; Listen</div><div>Robert SickingerBob Sickinger was one of the greatest directors I've ever known. He worked in the Hull House settlement house, at Broadway and Belmont in...</div></noscript></p></p> Mon, 13 May 2013 11:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-13/afternoon-shift-isabel-wilkerson-libraries-and-chicago-theater 'The Great Migration' Conversation with Timuel D. Black Jr., Linda Johnson Rice & Adam Green http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/great-migration-conversation-timuel-d-black-jr-linda-johnson-rice-adam <p><p>As part of the programming for the 2013-14 One Book, One Chicago selection, Isabel Wilkerson&rsquo;s <em>The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story Of America&rsquo;s Great Migration</em>, the Chicago Public Library welcomed&nbsp;<strong>Timuel D. Black Jr</strong>., <strong>Linda Johnson Rice</strong> and <strong>Adam Green</strong> for an engaging conversation of how the Great Migration shaped their lives and the city of Chicago.&nbsp;</p><div>Timuel D. Black, Jr., a recent Champion of Freedom Award recipient, is a Chicago educator, activist and historian who has written extensively on the Great Migration in his books <em>Bridges of Memory: Chicago&rsquo;s First Wave of Black Migration </em>and <em>Bridges of Memory Volume 2:Chicago&rsquo;s Second Generation of Black Migration</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Linda Johnson Rice&rsquo;s parents, <strong>John and Eunice Johnson</strong>, came to Chicago from the South and built the Johnson Publishing Company, one of the world&rsquo;s most successful black-owned media companies of which Ms. Rice is President and CEO.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>University of Chicago History Professor Adam Green, writes about the Great Migration in his books <em>Selling the Race: The Culture and Community in Black Chicago, 1940-1955</em> and <em>Time Longer than Rope: Studies in African American Activism, 1850-1950</em>.&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CPL-webstory_36.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br />Recorded live Monday, May 6, 2013 at the Harold Washington Library Center.</p></p> Mon, 06 May 2013 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/great-migration-conversation-timuel-d-black-jr-linda-johnson-rice-adam Jazz pianist Reginald R. Robinson keeps a 'song in his soul' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-02/jazz-pianist-reginald-r-robinson-keeps-song-his-soul-93683 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-02/reginald robinson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Not every production boasts a certified MacArthur genius as an accompanist. But trust the Old Town School of Folk Music to know a musical talent when they see one.</p><p><a href="http://www.reginaldrrobinson.com/">Jazz pianist and composer Reginald R. Robinson</a>, 39, plays piano and contributes a few of his own neo-ragtime compositions to the school’s first excursion into theater, <a href="http://www.oldtownschool.org/"><em>Keep a Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville</em>. </a>Opening tomorrow and running just through Sunday, the piece is set during the Great Migration, 1910-1930, and looks to be a hand-clapping, foot-stomping good time.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-02/reginald robinson.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 336px;" title=""></p><p>When Robinson got the $500,000 award, in 2004, he was flat broke and considering quitting the business. A Chicago native, he’d grown up too poor to afford music lessons. He dropped out of school at 15 to teach himself to play piano—a decision aided by his new neighborhood and high school in the Back of the Yards.</p><p>“I was sort of pushed,” Robinson says. “I could stay in school at that point and risk getting shot or jumped on. There was a lot of bad things happening in the school, in the area. And I was like, ‘Do I wanna continue to go through this? Or do I want to stay home?’” Sounds like a no-brainer, though quitting school isn’t usually the best way to pursue a career.</p><p>“My parents strongly objected to me leaving school,” says Robinson. “You know, they were typical caring parents: they did not want me to drop out. But I’d be getting to school late, and all kinds of stuff…. So I stayed home and mastered the music I wanted to play for the rest of my life.”</p><p>“I didn’t realize it would turn into anything like this. I just went along, doing the music, and one thing led to another.”</p><p>When Robinson went back to school to get his GED in 1992, some of the faculty noticed him writing down music in the hallway. One of them, musician Mac Olsen, invited Robinson to meet his piano teacher, who worked in a violin shop that hosted a jam session every Saturday. One day when Robinson was there, horn player Ira Sullivan came in.</p><p>“I couldn’t sit in with the other guys,” says Robinson, “cuz they were reading from charts. So I sat and listened, and after they finished, after about an hour and a half, I got up there and played some solo piano—‘Maple Leaf Rag’ and one of my own pieces, ‘Good Times Rag.’ And Ira Sullivan was like, wow. He said, ‘I know ‘Maple Leaf,’ but what’s that other piece? Is that Scott Joplin?’”</p><p>Sullivan introduced him to stride pianist Jon Weber, who paid for Robinson’s first demo and introduced him to Delmark’s Bob Koester. Robinson’s <em>The Strongman</em> came out in 1993; two other albums on Delmark followed. But sales weren’t great. The MacArthur grant enabled Robinson to self-produce <em>Man Out of Time</em> in 2007, made up of pieces he’d composed over the preceding decade; <em>Reflections</em> came out in 2010.</p><p>Asked whether the MacArthur award inspired him, Robinson says, “It confirmed what I knew, that my music was worth something. From that, receiving the award, things became easier. It’s like a magic carpet—it helps you go into places that you wouldn’t normally be able to go.”</p><p>Fortunately, being a bona fide genius hasn’t gone to his head.</p><p>The award, Robinson says, “is like the song, ‘Keep a Song in Your Soul.’ It’s about remembering where you come from. And it’s about the music. It wasn’t about the title. Nobody called me a genius before I got the award. I told myself I was a genius—in the privacy of my own room. ‘Hey, this is a good idea!’ I’d say it in a joking way. ‘This is perfect! Man, I like this!’”</p><p>“It was always about the music. Through it all, that’s what kept me going. Whether it’s good times or bad times, always writing music. My story before the MacArthur: it was music!”</p><p>Directed by Andrea J. Dymond, <em>Keep a Song in Your Soul</em> is a collaboration between Robinson, Grammy-winning string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Chicago choreographer Reggio “The Hoofer” McLaughlin, all of whom also perform.</p></p> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 13:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-02/jazz-pianist-reginald-r-robinson-keeps-song-his-soul-93683