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Students continue push toward Chicago History Museum exhibit focused on Latino history
Jair Ramirez remembers how his mother pointed out places in Pilsen where the late Mexican singer Joan Sebastian once sang before his musical career took off.
Besides his mother, Ramirez, 18, hadn’t heard anyone else talk about the famed singer’s ties to Chicago. “He would play at a taqueria by Harrison Park, and that’s where he worked at,” Ramirez said. “It was surprising to me because I have friends who have died at that park, and for them not to know that somebody that looked like them actually made it out from these same struggles and they don’t know about that.”
Ramirez is among a group of students with ties to Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy who started pushing for the Chicago History Museum to include exhibits about Chicago’s Latino communities. The student-led efforts were spurred by a field trip to the museum, where they realized there wasn’t any information about Latino history.
A year later, the students have formed an advisory committee and plan to work with the Chicago Teachers Union to reach out to other students across the city to get their input on what should be included in the exhibit, said Anton Miglietta, who teaches history at the academy. The committee is also organizing a youth conference for next spring where students will be able to talk about their research.
It could take at least three years before the temporary exhibit is opened, said Brittany Hutchinson, an assistant curator at the museum. The museum also plans to create programming and establish partnerships with the Latino community that go beyond the exhibit, she said.
The goal of the project is also to build a collection within the museum on Latino history, Hutchinson said. She described her approach as decolonizing the curatorial process by making sure the Latino community and the students have input along the way.
Though the project is still in its early stages, Ramirez, who graduated this summer but plans to stay involved, wants the exhibit to include details about Latino popular culture like the history of Sebastian in Chicago. Samira Rivera, a senior at the academy, wants the exhibit to include the stories behind the bright, colorful murals that have dotted Latino neighborhoods.
Rivera, 17, said she felt invisible when she first visited the Chicago History Museum as part of the field trip. “I honestly felt like I was never there,” Rivera said. “Like my people were never there.”
Rivera said she initially felt intimidated in discussions with the Chicago History Museum. But over the past year, she said she has grown more confident in speaking up. Princeton University awarded her a prize in race relations for her role in getting the museum to agree to the exhibit.
“You don’t really see the youth working on history and Latinx history,” Rivera said. “I feel like it’s really empowering if it’s a bunch of people fighting for one thing that we want.”
Read Elvia Malagón’s full story here.
More news you need
- Twelve people were killed and 42 others were injured in shootings across Chicago over the weekend, police said. This past weekend was deadlier than Labor Day weekend.
- Wisconsin has been an-on-again-off-again state on Chicago’s 14-day quarantine list. But it looks like the state might be going back on again.
- Amazon will hire another 100,000 people nationally, including 5,500 in the Chicago area, to keep up with a surge of online orders. The company said the new hires will help pack, ship or sort orders, working in part-time and full-time roles.
- A key player in the scandal that brought down one of then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked schools chiefs is set to leave prison three years early because of the coronavirus, court records show. Gary Solomon, 52, will be moved to home confinement Sept. 22.
- As part of a project known as “Vision Zero,” which has the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2026, work got underway today on new protected bike lanes along a “high crash” stretch of Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. The work, taking place between Western and California avenues, is expected to take about two weeks, with limited parking available on Milwaukee during that time.
- A bear was found eating the remains of an Elgin man Friday near a campsite in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. It’s unclear if Patrick Madura, 43, was mauled to death by the bear or died by another means.
A bright one
Half-forgotten Frank Lloyd Wright house in West Pullman sells after 3 years on market
A historic Far South Side home designed by world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright was sold earlier this month for less than $200,000 after spending more than three years on the market.
James Glover, a Chicago native, wasn’t necessarily looking to buy a house when he stumbled on the iconic West Pullman property while watching TV one Sunday afternoon. The 60-year-old electrician was drawn to the large lot and low price point.
Sitting on nearly a half-acre of land, the 120-year-old faded yellow home, known as the Foster House and Stable, features steep roof peaks — something that wasn’t necessarily common in Wright’s designs — and has five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Its immense yard is like a grassy oasis, with two koi ponds and a water fountain, Glover said.
In 1996, the property was declared a Chicago landmark, and it’s one of more than 40 Wright-designed buildings that remain in the Chicagoland area today, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.
Glover described the property — with its chipping paint, tall weeds and matted grass — as a “fixer-upper” and hopes to restore the place to its original beauty.
“I have a friend, his name is Ward Miller … he’s an executive director of Preservation Chicago, he said that this house is like a Picasso or a Rembrandt [painting], and you have to be a conservator of the house, which is what I intend to do,” said Glover.
Read Madeline Kenney’s full story here.
From the press box
A group of Illinois high school football coaches have organized a “Let Us Play” campaign to try to convince Gov. Pritzker to change course and allow sports this fall. Rallies will be held Saturday outside the Thompson Center and at the state capitol in Springfield.
And not only did the Bears win in unlikely fashion over the Lions yesterday, but they did it by making some unexpected decisions with their personnel, Jason Lieser writes. Anthony Miller played just 43% of offensive snaps, for example, but made his moments count.
Your daily question ☕
With summer coming to an end, we want to know: What summer staples did you miss most because of the pandemic?
Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Friday, we asked you: How do you think the world has changed since the September 11 terrorist attacks? Here’s what some of you said…
“For the worse. On and shortly after 9/11, we seemed like we were a united nation. Today we seem to be more divided than ever.” — Bradley Nawara
“After 9/11, Americans came together and sought to fight terrorism. Fast forward almost 20 years later, we are so divided that we can’t come together to combat a deadly pandemic.” — Daniel Alleva
“In 2001 people loved first responders. They gave their lives to save victims. Many first responders suffered permanent conditions from inhaling the dust. Not to mention the mental health effects of seeing the carnage. Somehow we forgot about them in the past 6 months. Now many want first responders to be defunded.” — Ken Jackson
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