Chicago Defender editor and Black Creativity founder Earl Calloway died Wednesday at 87 years old.
The accomplished columnist and fine arts journalist was a Chicago powerhouse who got his start at several African-American agencies, including the Associated Negro Press, the Chicago Courier and Negro Press International. Born Oct. 4, 1926 in Birmingham, Ala., he came to the Chicago Defender in 1963, at the height of the paper’s civil rights movement coverage. The Roosevelt University graduate, and accomplished operatic tenor, was also a founding member of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Calloway founded a number of choirs and cultural events in the city. Of those, perhaps Black Creativity is the widest known. Now hosted by the Museum of Science and Industry, the annual February exhibition and accompanying gala shine a spotlight on African-American excellence in science and technology. The event also hosts a juried art exhibition. When Calloway began the event, it was named the annual Black Esthetic Festival.
The Historymakers profiled Calloway here.
The Vivian G. Harsh Collection of Afro-American History and Literature at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library holds a number of taped interviews with Calloway, who was instrumental in covering the arts and several marches. The last interview was in 2005.
Funeral services have not yet been announced.