• House Bill 2778 Passed in the Senate and House

    House Bill 2778 Passed in the Senate and House
    In Springfield, House Bill 2778 (HB2778), the School Employee Benefit and Wage Protection Bill passed the Illinois House 92 to 23 and the Illinois Senate 53 to one. 
    HB 2778 will:Require districts to provide COVID administrative days to any school or college employees to be used for all COVID-related absences like quarantining and testing, so employees will not have to use all of their accrued benefit time during the pandemic.
    Provide paycheck protection for hourly employees. This me
  • A Conversation with Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton

    A Conversation with Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton
    Juliana Stratton made history becoming the first Black American to serve as Lieutenant Governor serving alongside Governor JB Pritzker. The southside native’s entire career has focused on bringing people together, building consensus, and solving problems. In her role as Lt. Governor, she leads the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative, and chairs the Illinois Council on Women and Girls, the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, the Military Economic Development Council, and the Illi
  • It’s become a different world

    It’s become a different world
    We see a show and later learn that it had to close abruptly. We can empathize with the actors’ disappointment and distress because we can visualize their faces and recall their voices. But how has the pandemic impacted those we see only briefly in the lobby as we enter or don’t see at all? How are they managing this crisis? I talked to stage managers and front of house staff at large, medium, and small Chicago theaters in late December and early January. When we talked, some theater
  • Talking democracy to death

    Talking democracy to death
    If you think Congress is inept in a crisis now, just wait till you see what 2465 has in store! In Brendan Pelsue’s dystopian dramedy, Wellesley Girl, the U.S. has been reduced to three (or maybe four, if you count abandoned Wellesley) towns in Massachusetts—the only places on the eastern seaboard where, thanks to MIT scientists, the water is safe to drink. The population is so small that everyone is a member of Congress, though the Supreme Court is now just Donna (Deanna Reed-Foster
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  • Communicating from beyond

    Communicating from beyond
    Have you ever felt like a thing was made especially for you at just the right time? This was my overwhelming impression as soon as I walked into the Art Institute’s Ray Johnson show. I didn’t know much about Johnson prior to a deep dive I took, prompted by this exhibition’s sprawling collection of his endeavors. In my experience, Ray Johnson’s reputation has been more often name-checked than explained. The mystery and misdirection, it turns out, were by design. Johnson w
  • Singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada conquers heartache on her debut Marchita

    Singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada conquers heartache on her debut Marchita
    On her exquisite debut album, Marchita, Mexican singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada dissects the many bruised facets of a breakup in 11 intimate, elegant tunes. Estrada colors her compositions with her experiences growing up in a family of classical musicians and luthiers as well as her jazz studies at the University of Veracruz. On Marchita, she traces a line between those influences and iconic Latin American composers from the mid-20th century, including Chilean folk luminary Violeta Parra and
  • Karen Mom-Son Duo Lose Jobs, Arrested For Assaulting Black Worker On Camera [watch]

    Photo: Getty Images
    The white mother and son in Tennessee who called the cops and assaulted a Black man working at an apartment complex’s garage have lost their jobs and been charged.
    As the Black Information Network reported last month, Johnny Martinez was working in the parking garage of a Nashville apartment complex, checking vehicle permits, when a mother and son approached him, demanding to know what he was doing there.
    The now-viral video captured the moment the son, identified in a
  • Lizzo Responds To Critics Who Claim ‘Rumors’ Is The Worst Song Of The Year [watch]

    Photo: Getty Images
    Lizzo wants fans to know the true difference between viral music and good music.
    The Grammy Award winning star, whose 2021 song “Rumors” featuring Cardi B reached the top of the charts this year, is known for making huge records that can’t be put in a specific box. Her music is not only featured in television commercials, most of her songs a major hits on TikTok. So it comes as no surprise that “Rumors” is already breaking records since it’
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  • Moderna Says Booster Dose Increases Protection Against Omicron

    Photo: Getty Images
    Moderna announced Monday (December 20) that a booster dose of its vaccine significantly increases antibody levels to protect against the Omicron variant.
    In a statement, Moderna touted “reassuring” data from a preliminary study that shows an authorized 50-microgram booster dose of its vaccine increases antibody levels 37-fold when compared to pre-booster levels. When a full100-microgram dose was used as a booster, antibody levels increased 83-fold, the company not
  • Serena Williams Donates $1M To HBCU Student Pitch Competition Winner

    Photo: Getty Images
    Serena Williams made a million-dollar investment over the weekend, donating the prize money to one lucky HBCU student pitch competition winner.
    The tennis G.O.A.T. partnered with Michael B. Jordan to donate $1 million during the inaugural Legacy QQQ HBCU basketball tournament in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday (December 18). The tournament also included a startup pitch competition where student entrepreneurs competed for the grand prize.
    TracFlo –– a financial app
  • Vic Mensa Speaks Out After Being Released From Jail: ‘I’m Free’

    Photo: Getty Images
    Vic Mensa is speaking out after being released from jail, following his weekend arrest. The “Down On My Luck” rapper, who was detained at the airport in Washington, D.C. for possession of mushrooms and LSD, took to Twitter to confirm his freedom, sharing:
    “Wow what a trip. I’m freeeeeee. love you all. god works in mysterious ways.”
    i’m freeeeeeelove you allgod works in mysterious ways
    — vino valentino (@VicMensa) January 19, 2022Vic w
  • Jay-Z Calls To Ban Lawmakers From Using Rap Lyrics As Criminal Evidence

    Photo: Getty Images
    Jay-Z and other artists are calling on New York City lawmakers to stop using rapper’s lyrics against them in court as criminal evidence. Hov teamed up with Meek Mill and a slew of artists — including Big Sean, Fat Joe, Robin Thicke, Kelly Rowland, and Yo Gotti — to urge lawmakers to sign and turn into state law the “Rap Music on Trial” bill (S.7527/A.8681). Jay’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, told Rolling Stone:
    “This is an issue that’s i
  • Ex-Officer Who Killed Laquan McDonald Set To Be Released From Prison

    Photo: Getty Images
    The white former Chicago police officer convicted of killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014 is scheduled to be released from prison as soon as next month.
    Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of killing McDonald in 2018, is scheduled to be released on February 3, after serving less than half of his 81-month sentence, an official with the Illinois Prison Review Board confirmed.
    “I’m hoping he’s learned the error of his ways. I have always asked for justice
  • Pardison Fontaine Speaks Out Against Megan Thee Stallion Breakup Rumors

    Photo: Getty Images
    Megan Thee Stallion and boyfriend Pardsion Fontaine have been keeping their relationship low-key in recent months. So much so that fans began to speculate that the Grammy Award winning couple had called it quits. Adding more fuel to the rumor mill, fans noticed that the “Savage” rapper deleted all the photos of her and Fontaine from her Instagram page.
    However, Pardi is speaking out, denying the claims and assuring fans that things are better than ever in their r
  • Elton ‘L10MixedIt’ Chueng, recording engineer

    Elton ‘L10MixedIt’ Chueng, recording engineer
    Elton Chueng, 33, began his career as a professional recording engineer with an internship at Classick Studios in 2011. He’s since worked with some of the brightest stars to emerge from Chicago’s hip-hop scene in the past decade, including Saba, Noname, Smino, and Chance the Rapper. In November his contributions to Yebba’s 2021 debut, Dawn, earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.As told to Leor GalilI always loved music growing up. It really wa
  • SZA’s Cake Goes Viral As She Celebrates Her Acting Debut: ‘I Got The Part’

    Photo: Getty Images
    SZA is taking her talents to the big screen after landing a role, which marks her acting debut. The “I Hate U” singer took to her Instagram Story to celebrate the win and showed off her green, confetti celebration cake that read, “Congrats record breaker and fire actress.” The Grammy nominated singer wrote of the exciting news:
    “I can’t believe I got the part I wanted [watery eyes emoji] she’s an actress.”   
  • Drakeo The Ruler’s Girlfriend Honors Her Late ‘Soulmate’ After Tragic Death

    Photo: Getty Images
    Drakeo The Ruler‘s girlfriend is breaking her silence following her partner’s sudden passing over the weekend. Noel Bianca took to social media on Sunday to honor her late beau who was stabbed to death before hitting the stage at Once Upon a Time in L.A. music festival on Saturday. Bianca shared in an emotional post:
    “Darrell you knew everything about me and still loved me. I will miss our drunk nights, our arguments over nothing, u singing Sam Smith to me i
  • Semiratruth’s Moonlandin’ elevates her music to a new plane

    Semiratruth’s Moonlandin’ elevates her music to a new plane
    Semiratruth Garrett remembers the exact day her creative life opened up. It wasn’t the afternoon in 2014 when she first recorded a song at Harold Washington Library’s YouMedia lab, or the day several years later when she rapped her way onto Netflix’s 2019 hip-hop competition, Rhythm + Flow—though both those moments are also burned into her brain. It was in New York City on the evening of July 24, 2021, when Semira went to SummerStage in Central Park to see her friend Tei
  • Biden Administration To Distribute 500 Million At-Home Covid-19 Test Kits

    Photo: Getty Images
    President Joe Biden on Tuesday (December 21) is expected to announce the government’s rollout of free at-home Covid-19 testing and other measures as millions gear up for the holidays and newest wave of the pandemic.
    According to reports, the US has purchased 500 million at-home rapid test kits and plans to distribute them free of charge to Americans who sign up on a website. The details in how many tests an individual household can order are still being worked out, CNN
  • Kid Cudi Could Win An Academy Award This Year Thanks To These Hit Records

    Photo: getty Images
    Kid Cudi has two records on the shortlist to score an Academy Award this year, and the star took to social media to celebrate. Fresh off his appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the Grammy Award winning star shared the news that “Guns Go Bang” with Jay-Z and “Just Look Up” from the film “Don’t Look Up” are up to score nominations for Best Original Song at the 2021 Academy Awards. Cudi posted the shortlist to his Instagram
  • Roel Estanilla makes a very presentable pig

    Roel Estanilla makes a very presentable pig
    A lion’s purr revving to a roar. The sound of a crack racing across the bald face of a mountain. Thunder ripping across the sky. All arresting sounds for sure, but the phenomenon of Roel Estanilla breaking into the crispy, copper skin of a roasted cochinillo lechón could drown them all out. That sound is a Pavlovian promise of lip-sticky pigskin armoring a lush, lemongrass-perfumed anatomy of milk-fed pork flesh. The instrument is a whole suckling pig that Estanilla roasts for
  • Karrueche Tran Speaks Out On DaBaby and DaniLeigh Drama: ‘I Felt Her Pain’ [watch]

    Photo: Getty Images
    Karrueche Tran has had her fair share of high profile relationships and public breakups, so it comes as no surprise that the star felt deeply for DaniLeigh after watching her live drama with DaBaby unfold as the world watched on. The Claws actress caught up with Angie Martinez on Tuesday and shared her thoughts on the domestic debacle, sharing:
    “I felt it in my soul and in my body and when I saw the videos. What he was saying…it just made me want to throw up beca
  • Education Reform Expert Talks Social Justice in Education

    Education Reform Expert Talks Social Justice in Education
    As an undergraduate at Morehouse College, Dr. Martin Luther King said,  “At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift an
  • Vic Mensa Arrested For Possession Of Mushrooms And LSD At D.C. Airport

    Photo: Getty Images
    Vic Mensa was arrested at Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport over the weekend after border officials say they found illegal drugs in his luggage, including mushrooms and LSD. According to a statement by the customs and borders protection, the “Down On My Luck” rapper arrived at Dulles on a flight from Ghana on Saturday, and when searched by officials, he was allegedly in possession of 41 grams of liquid Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), about 124
  • Letitia James Seeks To Subpoena Donald Trump In Fraud Investigation

    Photo: Getty Images
    The New York Attorney General‘s investigation into Donald Trump‘s business dealings is heating up now that she announced her plan to seek a court order for the former president and his two oldest children to cooperate.
    “We are taking legal action to force Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump to comply with our investigation into the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” Letitia James tweeted Tuesday night (January 18). “No
  • Three Cops Charged In Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Black Girl

    Photo: GoFundMe
    Three Pennsylvania police officers have been charged in the shooting death of 8-year-old Fanta Bility, who was killed last year while leaving a high school football game with her family.
    According to The Associated Press, a grand jury recommended Tuesday (January 18) that the Sharon Hill Police officers –– identified as Devon Smith, Sean Dolan, and Brian Devaney –– be charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment after they opening fire on a crowd of
  • Cardi B Will Cover Funeral Costs For Victims Of Fatal Bronx Fire [watch]

    Photo: Getty Images
    Cardi B is showing up for hometown in a major way. The Bronx native has offered to pay for the funeral and burial costs of those killed in the building fire that left 17 people dead. The “WAP” rapper told TMZ:
    “I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish that the families of the victims are experiencing, but I hope that not having to worry about the costs associated with burying their loved ones will help as they move forward and heal. I send my prayers a
  • City Lit stages the OG of Westerns

    City Lit stages the OG of Westerns
    City Lit’s original stage adaptation of Owen Wister’s 1902 novel The Virginian focuses on the experience of two easterners adjusting to the rough-and-ready way of life in pre-statehood Wyoming in the 1880s. One is “The Virginian” (he has no other name), the foreman on a ranch owned by a wealthy cattle baron. The other is Molly Wood, a genteel schoolteacher from Vermont. Their friendship evolves slowly and shyly into romance, until the Virginian leads a posse to track dow
  • Sinister spinsters

    Sinister spinsters
    Jen Silverman’s The Moors is a brilliantly executed pastiche of everything from Wuthering Heights (the gloomy insalubrious environs of the title) to Rebecca, complete with a menacing parlor maid/scullery maid named either Marjory or Mallory, and suffering from either an unwanted pregnancy or typhus, depending on what room you catch her in. (Played to perfection in either case by Jennifer Engstrom.) But it’s the underlying tone of isolation and repression that takes both the script a
  • A survivor’s tour of Auschwitz

    A survivor’s tour of Auschwitz
    She didn’t want to talk about it.Fritzie Fritzshall survived Auschwitz, came to Chicago, and built what most of us are lucky enough to think of as a normal life, with work and marriage, a child and a home.    She did it by putting her Auschwitz experience in a mental box and shutting it away. Not denying it, but denying it continued presence in her life. She didn’t want it to define her.Until she did.Fritzshall was born in Czechoslovakia in 1931, and was 13 years

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