Chicago The State theater opened in 1922, at the corner of South Michigan Avenue and 110th Street. It could seat a little over 2000, and was decorated with a highly ornate neoclassical terra-cotta facade, with an interior originally in elegant Renaissance style. The State Theater was located in the Roseland community in Chicago's South Side where I grew up.
The Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey, 1927, Chicago. Although not from Chicago, Ma Rainey was discovered by Chicago-based Paramount Records. She would go on to record the lion’s share of her greatest recordings while calling the city her home-away-from-home. From her not-so-subtle references to sex and other scandalous subjects (like her own proclivity for sleeping with women), her music is like no other.
FLASHBACK: 1968. The day after the Chicago City Council voted to rename South Park Way after the recently assassinated Martin Luther King Jr, summer students at Dunbar Vocational High School Willie Thornton, Lamar Jackson and Pat Foster couldn't wait for the city to change the signs. Some aldermen had complained that King deserved more of a tribute. That came five years later when Illinois became the first state to honor the civil-rights leader with a holiday.