Author: DIANA HEIDGERD

In the MIX: AMAs Lack of Real Diversity, More CPS School Closures?

This past Sunday, ABC aired the 2017 American Music Awards, and boy did it lack any real diversity outside the amazing host, Tracee Ellis Ross. To barely see any Black performances while we were awaiting the finale performance from the legendary Diana Ross lit up Black twitter and Facebook newsfeeds.

#MeToo: State Politics and Accountability of Sexual Harassment

What do you do when someone uninvitingly invades your personal space with their presence or with their words? For many both women and even men, it is a feeling that unstraps you emotionally and psychologically, leaving a person wondering ‘What did I do wrong?’ ‘Was it something I said to allow this form of harassment or abuse?’

David and Tamela Mann: It’s All About Family

David and Tamela Mann have become a household name across television screens with two current series on different networks. The Manns on TV One and Mann & Wife on Bounce TV—both bringing good ole’ fashion family values with a comedic twist. The husband and wife team have brought the comedic relief of David’s pure sensibility and laughter along with his partner in life, Tamela whose beautiful voice has garnered several Stellar awards as well as a Grammy and NAACP Image award.
This week, The Manns will be in Chicago on Friday, November 17 with their show, The Mann’s World Family Tour to the Arie Crown. The show features the musical stylings of the daughter, Tia Mann performing new music and son DJ David Mann, Jr., a comedy set by David Mann, and a full concert by Tamela Mann.
The Chicago Defender talked with the award-winning couple in their endeavors to bring their family on the road with a new tour as well as discussing their formula for a stable marriage and career in entertainment.

What was the concept behind The Mann’s World Family Tour?

David: We wanted to do something where people can see our whole family together because they see us together all the time with television shows and the plays. So, we wanted to do something to show our kid’s talents. Although they aren’t kids anymore, they are full grown adults. It can show people that you can work together. Not only work together, but you can thrive together.
To encourage other families.
With the holidays, right here around the corner, people are in the giving mode. What are the some of the things that you want people to take away from this particular show?
Tamela: To expect the unexpected and to have the inspiration for the holidays coming up. A lot of us need to get back to the basics. Even though sometimes we only get together for around the holidays. We want people to concentrate on how important family is as a unit. To take some hope and inspiration from this tour. To inspire and keep loving each other.
My daughter sings, and my son kicks it off with DJ’ing. To get it crunk and hyped up. My daughter comes out with a twist of Neo-Soul and Gospel. David comes out and does his Gospel, and then I come out and sing my segment.
David: She takes us home—all the gospel—all the favorites. “Take Me to the King,” “Only Imagine” “This Place,” “God Provides,” “Change Me”—I mean all the favorites you’ve heard her over the years. She just comes and takes us to a whole new level. If you’ve seen us in Chicago before, erase that. It’s different. It’s another level higher.
Tamela: We wanted to give extra to the people of God and the people who follow us. To bring some hope because it’s a lot of things happening the world. Whatever problems you’re dealing with, just leave it at the door.
So, it’ll be a combination of ministry, testimony and bring the generations together.
David: Yes, all of the above. Love, cry and worship–just everything.
Tamela: I think it’s like a roller coaster ride.
David: You go fast, you go slow. You go in circles, and you dip. (laughs)

When you both come to Chicago, where are some of the areas or places that you know you have to hit when you visit?

David: Back in the day, we would always have to grab Leon’s BBQ. We would come to the Regal theater on 79th and Stony Island. Now, we’re in and out so fast with touring we don’t get a chance to go out. With the plays, we would stay for a week and got to explore the city more.

People are destined for hope, and sometimes they don’t always know where to turn. Your shows have become therapeutic for fans, and an example of a stable Black family structure looks like and feel like. What is your formula that you can share your marriage and raise your children?

David: The first thing is a solid foundation. Without a strong foundation, the building will crumble. It can look great, but it has to have a foundation. That’s what we have to get back to our kids and even our adults.
Tamela: Our faith in God. That’s how a lot of us made. When you think back, the majority of us have a Christian base. Our grandmothers made sure we went to church and gave some time to God. We still have to give that time back to God. For Him to watch over us and there is so much going on, and we need covering. It starts with God and then our family.
David: We have to give back to the village mentality. Remember when we all looked out for each other. We all took care of each other. You knew your child was safe at the next house, or you knew the lady of the house got sick, the other women would rally around and bring food. The men as well. We have to get back to the village mentality, and we’ll start to see this thing change.
 
When you reflect back on your life, what would you want your legacy to be?
David: Loving, compassionate but I want people to know I put forth brought the best effort to bring he best out of people. I wanted this world to be better. I did all that I could to make this place better. I was a wonderful husband, father and that I loved the Lord.
Tamela: I would say the same. My mom was always the peacemaker, and people use to always come to her to talk about anything. That’s the same thing I would like to leave. Just to be able to give somebody encouraging words. Just a smile. Every day, you don’t always feel right as an individual. It won’t always be peachy, but for the most part, I would like to give someone some inspiration and some joy.

Former Obama Health Sr. Advisor Lauren Underwood Runs for Congress

When you venture out into the suburbs of Chicago, there are some townships that standout,  serving over 100,000+ residents, standing solidly and cultivating a rich tradition of what Midwestern towns are known for. The city of Chicago is the largest and dominant city in the state of Illinois, but it’s the towns and counties throughout the state that resonate very different viewpoints on policies, religion, class and often race.

In the MIX: Chicago Carjackings Skyrocket, Shore Shore Showcase Small Businesses

We are literally six weeks away from celebrating Christmas and seven weeks from the New Year. Can you believe 2018 is right around the corner, less than two months way? Yet, Chicago is under siege. Yep. There is a heightened rate of car jacked thefts occurring throughout the city and flowing into the suburbs. People are literally being held at gunpoint while standing near their vehicles, pumping gas or unpacking groceries from their trunk. No second thought, the thieves jump in the ride, not realizing there may be children strapped in the backseat.

Boots On the Ground: Active Service, Resources and Veterans

What we deal with every day in the face of adversity is very little compared to the men and women who fight on our behalf for freedom in the United States. Most of us either have a veteran or we’re connected to someone who’s a member of the armed services in our family or extended circle. In this day and age, the survivors of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the Afghanistan War on terrorism have left us with mixed emotions on protecting our rights yet protecting our loved one’s safety.

Obama Foundation Summit Brings Together The Next Generation of Leaders

As the Obama Foundation moves forward with breaking ground in Jackson Park to undertake a five-year long process of building one of the most progressive presidential centers in the country—his team is laying the bricks to build civic engagement among the next generation of leaders.

In the MIX: #Metoo Hits Home, The Obamas Brings Out Heavyhitters

As we feel the winter cold creep upon us, most of us are reaching back into our closets and grabbing what clothing is going to keep us warm and, yes, looking fabulous.

Illinois Democratic Party Endorses Sen. Kwame Raoul for Attorney General

On Friday, the Cook County Democratic Committee unanimously endorsed State Senator Kwame Raoul for the Attorney General office as well as passed the Sexual Harrassment Resolution.

Cook County Chairman Joseph Berrios released an official statement:

No Justice, No Peace: Modern-Day Jim Crow

Nearly nine years after the $20 million settlement issued by the City of Chicago to four former death row inmates who claimed they were tortured and beaten by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge—torture victim Mark Maxson has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking $54 million in damages.

Freeway Rick Ross: No Regrets, Only Lessons

Unlike the limitless stories of gangsters such as Al Capone, John Dillinger or even Sam Giancana—in the African American community, some of our most notorious former gangsters still live among us. While Ricky Donnell known as “Freeway Rick Ross” was serving a life sentence, rapper William Leonard Roberts adopted more than his name for the stage, but he elevated an image based on Ross’ bad boy lifestyle of being one of the country’s biggest drug traffickers in the 1980’s on the West Coast.

In the MIX: Obama Foundation Summit Highlights, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds Performs in Chicago

The hottest ticket in town this week was the Obama Foundation Summit being held at the newly opened Wintrust Arena in the South Loop. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama opened up the session with an empowering and moving dialogue with “The Fierce Urgency of Now.” It was just the adrenaline rush needed to get attendees to enjoy the breakout sessions.