Jahmal Cole asked a question to the crowd of volunteers assembled in a church parking lot in the Chatham neighborhood on a recent Saturday.
“How come there ain’t no holiday lights on the South Side of Chicago?” he said into the microphone. “I’ve seen it in Edgewater. I’ve seen it in Greek Town. How come there ain’t no holiday lights on the South Side of Chicago?”
Cole is the founder of the community organization My Block My Hood My City. For six years, they’ve decorated homes on Martin Luther King Drive with holiday lights, ornaments, inflatable Santas and other decorations.
In this episode, we join the event – which is called “Be A Part Of The Light” – for the day, asking homeowners and volunteers why they decided to participate, and Cole why he thinks the simple act of putting up holiday lights can transform a community.
“What we’re doing today is not just about putting up lights,” Cole said. “It’s about bringing light to an area that really needs it.”