The 88th annual Bud Billiken Parade – August 12, 2017

Covering the Bud Billiken Parade is a respite from the graceless world that seems omnipresent. That world with its constant barrage of angry imagery and words; it hems me in.

I ride my bike to 50th and King and lock it to a street sign. A couple of people look at me with raised eyebrows and I say, “It will be fine.” Maybe they weren’t thinking about my bike. I slip through the police barricade showing my press credentials and walk north up King Drive. People watch me as I walk. I pass policemen and policewomen stationed every half block or so, four at each intersection. They hardly glance at me. People lean against the barricade, eyes and smiles and laughter. A few people wave. I think about my feet; my plantar fasciitis will act up. My awareness of the fact that I am white in a black world fades a bit. “Hey photo-man, take a picture,” says someone in the crowd. I take a few, adjusting my camera; it’s a mixed day of clouds and sunshine.

The King College Prep Marching Jaguars lead the way, black and gold, drums and trumpets and sax and tuba in unison; the J-Settes dance. It’s not too hot, but I imagine being in one of those uniforms. I need some water. A space opens up in the parade. The Jaguars move south, to the north I see TV cameras and photographers circling, a line of policemen and security guards.

Chance the Rapper is wearing a hat with the number 3 emblazoned. The brim is low, his eyes almost hidden in shadow. I change lenses and start taking pictures. I just need one decent image and then I can move on to the real show. A security man comes up and asks for my credentials and then asks me to step a few feet away. I check my images, too much shadow on his eyes. Deal with it I think. A policeman comes up and threatens to remove me from the parade route. “I told you not to photograph from in front,” he says. I don’t remember him speaking to me and I am fifty feet away. He has an anger in his eyes that is palpable. I think, too bad we don’t protect our city’s children with the same kind of passion.

I move to the edge of the parade. I want to photograph people reacting to Chance. People wave and smile. Some yell, “Chance, over here.” He gives concert passes to an aide who walks to the crowd and hands them out. And then I see the image. A group of girls-becoming-women leans forward, transfixed, in another world, watching Chance. One girl breaks into tears. I am reminded of imagery from the 60s when I was a boy-becoming-a-man when the Beatles toured the United States.

The parade unfolds with its usual rhythm. Marching bands and dance troupes punctuated by politicians and promotional floats. This year the gubernatorial candidates are thick, but Governor Rauner is nowhere to be seen. The South Shore Drill Team is back, a year after withdrawing from the parade due to limits on the number of people who could participate under a single banner. Dancers march by wearing “Alice in Wonderland” themed costumes. Mayor Emanuel works the crowd. The Jesse White Tumblers stop and soar. This is a joyful crowd, full of happiness and hope.

Golf Courses and Access to Jackson Park and to the South Shore Cultural Center

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Access to Jackson Park and to the South Shore Cultural Center from the South Shore neighborhood is at best mediated by and at worst denied by the presence of the Jackson Park and South Shore Golf Courses and the fences erected along significant stretches of their borders. “Well, of course,” one might respond, “they are golf courses,” but is this response a product of thinking critically about the effects of urban golf courses on their host neighborhoods or merely a response habituated by how we routinely imagine golf courses in the American landscape?

My purpose in posing this question is not to formulate an argument for getting rid of the Jackson Park or South Shore Golf Courses, nor is it a rally cry against their proposed replacement, the so-called Tiger Woods golf course put forward by the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance. I pose the question because I think there must be a way through design to integrate the life of a neighborhood into the life of a golf course that the neighborhood hosts. Urban public golf courses should be accessible visually and in some significant and meaningful ways physically to people who live in adjoining neighborhoods, including people who don’t play golf.

This short photo essay is about the current boundary between the South Shore neighborhood and the extant South Shore and Jackson Park golf courses. The photo above shows a chain link fence that serves as the boundary between the South Shore Golf Course and the sidewalk that runs along the east side of South South Shore Drive from East 67th Street to East 71st Street.

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A golfer on the 3rd Hole of the South Shore Golf Course as photographed through the chain link fence that serves as the boundary between the course and the sidewalk that runs along the east side of South South Shore Drive from East 67th Street to East 71st Street.
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A pedestrian walks north on the sidewalk on the east side of South Jeffrey Avenue past Hole 7 of the Jackson Park Golf Course.
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A view from the playground on the north side of 67th Street between South East End and South Ridgeland Avenues through the chain link fence that separates the playground from the 5th Hole of the Jackson Park Golf Course.
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A girl plays in the playground on the north side of 67th Street between South East End and South Ridgeland Avenues. The playground is separated from the 5th Hole of the Jackson Park Golf Course by a chain link fence that serves as the boundary between Jackson Park and the sidewalk that runs along the north side 67th Street from South Cornell Drive to South South Shore Drive.

I suppose a place to leave this essay is with a set of questions. What is the purpose of the fence bordering many parts, but not all parts, of the Jackson Park and South Shore Golf Courses? Is it there to keep golf balls within the confines of the golf courses or is it there to keep people out of the golf courses? And finally, can the real needs of the golf courses or their proposed Tiger Woods replacement be met through a design that allows visual and physical accessibility to people who live in adjoining neighborhoods, but who don’t play golf?

 

4th On 53rd

 

Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition Meeting – June 28, 2017

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Haroon Garel, Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) housing coordinator, introduces panelists for the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum, organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition, at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017. Panelists include (left to right) Marcus Gill, operational manager of Dust Em Clean Maintenance, Carrie Thomas, executive director of the Chicago Jobs Council, Jane Vellinga, executive director of Chicago Women in Trades, and Maurice King, vice president International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134. The Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition includes member organizations: the Bronzeville Regional Collective; the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization; the Prayer and Action Collective; and South Side Organizing Together for Power.
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Panelists Jane Vellinga, executive director of Chicago Women in Trades, and Maurice King, vice president International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134, listen as Haroon Garel, Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) housing coordinator, reads the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition’s Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) development principles during the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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Panelist Jane Vellinga, executive director of Chicago Women in Trades, listens as fellow panelist Carrie Thomas, executive director of the Chicago Jobs Council, introduces herself during the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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Panelist Maurice King, vice president International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134, and panel moderator Haroon Garel, Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) housing coordinator, listen as panelist Jane Vellinga, executive director of Chicago Women in Trades, introduces herself during the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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A group of about 80 neighborhood residents participated in the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017. The Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition includes member organizations: the Bronzeville Regional Collective; the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization; the Prayer and Action Collective; and South Side Organizing Together for Power.
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A group of about 80 neighborhood residents participated in the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017. The Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition includes member organizations: the Bronzeville Regional Collective; the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization; the Prayer and Action Collective; and South Side Organizing Together for Power.
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A meeting participant asks a question during the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum, organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition, at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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Lolita Hughes the first female plumbing inspector for the City of Chicago stands to be recognized during the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum, organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition, at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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Forum participants mingle as they prepare to leave the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum, organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition, at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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Carrie Thomas, executive director of the Chicago Jobs Council, speaks with a forum participant at the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum, organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition, at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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Trade union representatives hand out information about apprenticeships during the #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum, organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition, at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017.
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Edward Forte, president of the PRECISE Construction & Dismantlement Systems and former president of Black Contractors United, speaks with #GetItInWriting Obama Library Jobs forum participants at the Harris Park Field House, 6200 S. Drexel Ave., Wednesday, July 28, 2017. The forum was organized by the Obama Library South Side CBA Coalition, which includes member organizations: the Bronzeville Regional Collective; the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization; the Prayer and Action Collective; and South Side Organizing Together for Power.

 

Proposed Site In Jackson Park, Chicago For The Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum – From April 18, 2015

The Noble Academy Lady Griffins celebrate their 3 to 0 win over the Hansberry College Prep Lady Bengals Saturday afternoon, April 18, 2015, on Jackson Park Field.  Jackson Park Field is within the area of Jackson Park bound by Stony Island Avenue on the west, Cornell Avenue on the east, 60th Street on the north, and 63rd Street on the South, that has been proposed as one of the potential sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

 

A swing set on April 18, 2015 in the area of Jackson Park proposed as one of the potential sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.  This image was published in the April 22, 2015 issue of the Hyde Park Herald.
A walking path on April 18, 2015 in the area of Jackson Park that has been proposed as one of the potential sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

 

A comfort station on April 18, 2015 in the area of Jackson Park that has been proposed as one of the potential sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.
An empty bottle of Natural Ice©beer on April 18, 2015 left near a playground in the area of Jackson Park that has been proposed as one of the potential sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.
A view of Hyde Park Academy High School, 6220 S. Stony Island Ave. on April 18, 2015, from the area of Jackson Park that has been proposed as one of the potential sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.
As her flag football teammates Lena Bivins (center) and Vanessa Abron (right) watch, Charity Seaborn does a practice run Saturday afternoon, April 18, 2015, on Jackson Park Field.  This image was published in the April 22, 2015 issue of the Hyde Park Herald.

 

Jackson Park Framework Plan – Fifth Ward Meeting – La Rabida Children’s Hospital – June 27, 2017

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Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston arrives at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., for the 5th Ward’s regularly scheduled meeting, Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston speaks to a group of more than 150 area residents outside the entrance to La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., about organizing an additional meeting on the Jackson Park framework plan for those area residents who were barred from entering the regularly scheduled 5th Ward meeting at the hospital as its meeting room space had filled to capacity, Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Chicago Park District Board vice president Avis LaVelle welcomes those people who made it into the regularly scheduled 5th Ward meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Dr. Carol Adams, former executive director of the DuSable Museum of African American History, speaks about the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance’s proposal for a championship golf course replacing the existing Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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An audience member listens during presentations about the Lakefront Framework Plan during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Gregg Calpino, Principal Landscape Architect at SmithGroupJJR, speaks about the construction of new underpasses allowing golf carts to move through a reconfigured golf course with safety and ease and increasing neighborhood access to Jackson Park during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017. This image was published in the July 5, 2107 Hyde Park Herald.
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Brenda Nelms of Jackson Park Watch asks a question during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017. This image was published in the July 5, 2107 Hyde Park Herald.
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Steven L. Carter asks a question about transport for seniors at the Obama Presidential Center during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Jamie Clare-Flaherty, Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Obama Foundation, responds to a question from the audience during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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An audience member comments on violence in Chicago and the need to make the city a safe place so African Americans will not leave the city and those who have left will move back during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Rebekah Scheinfeld, City of Chicago Commissioner of Transportation, responds to a question from the audience during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Jackson Park Advisory Council chair Louise McCurry takes notes during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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Rebekah Scheinfeld, City of Chicago Commissioner of Transportation, listens to a question from the audience during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.
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An audience member comments on her experiences golfing at the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses during the 5th Ward Meeting at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017.

Hyde Park Art Center – Inaugural Art Bike Ride – July 23, 2016

Artist Erika Dudley and Collector Patric McCoy speak to bicyclists before the Hyde Park Art Center’s inaugural Art Ride, Saturday, July 23, 2016.

Artist Rhonda Wheatley introduces herself to bicyclists as collector Patric McCoy listens at the Hyde Park Art Center before it’s inaugural Art Ride, Saturday, July 23, 2016. 
Panels of the art installation “Sapphire and Crystal” by the artists’ collective of the same name, located on the north side of the Illinois Central viaduct along 51st Street.
Artist Rhonda Wheatley discusses the pixilation that occurred during the process of making an image of one of her pieces included in the installation “Sapphire and Crystal” by the artists’ collective of the same name, installed on the north side of the Illinois Central viaduct along 51st Street.
A participant in the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Ride takes a minute off his bike to look at “Sapphire and Crystals” an installation of art panels by the art collective of the same name, located on the north side of the Illinois Central viaduct along 51st Street.
A view south across 47th St in the Illinois Central viaduct.
Participants in the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Ride arrive at the Illinois Central viaduct at 47th Street to view Carolyn Elaine and John Pitman Weber’s 2009 bricolage mural/mosaic “Reaching Back, Moving Forward, Lest We Forget the Song of 47th Street.”

Art collector Patric McCoy discusses Carolyn Elaine and John Pitman Weber’s 2009 “Reaching Back, Moving Forward, Lest We Forget the Song of 47th Street” bricolage mural/mosaic located in the Illinois Central viaduct at 47th Street, during the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Ride, Saturday, July 23, 2016.
A participant in the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Ride views Patric McCoy’s collection of art in his home, Saturday, July 23, 2016.
Patric McCoy (on right) speaks with Sussane Kuper, an art historian and curator from Berlin, about the collection of art in his home during the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Ride, Saturday, July 23, 2016.
Bikes in the entryway of Pete Wade’s house where he maintains a stained glass studio in what once was the living room.

Pete Wade in his stained glass studio which was visited during the Hyde Park Art Center’s inaugural Art Ride Saturday, July 23, 2016. 
Collector Patric McCoy waits for riders as they visit Pete Wade’s stained glass studio during the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Ride, July 23, 2016.
Participants in the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Bike Ride visit the late sculptor Milton Mizenberg’s Oakland Museum of Contemporary Art at E. 41st Place and S. Lake Park Ave., June 23, 2016.

Collector Patric McCoy discusses Mitchell Caton and Calvin Jones’ 1976 mural “Time To Unite” at 40th and Drexel during the Hyde Park Art Center’s inaugural Art Bike Ride, July 23, 2016.  The mural is located on a west-facing  abutment of the abandoned Kenwood branch of the Chicago an South Side Rapid Transit Railroad line.
Participants in the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center Art Bike Ride stop at 41st and Cottage Grove to view Justine Presha’ De Van’s 1977 mural “Black Women Emerging.” The mural is located on an east-facing abutment of the abandoned Kenwood branch of the Chicago an South Side Rapid Transit Railroad line.
Collector Patric McCoy speaks about tagging on Bernard Williams’ 1994 mural “Feed Your Child The Truth” in Ma Houston Park at 50th and Cottage Grove during the Hyde Park Art Center’s inaugural Art Bike Ride, July 23, 2016.
Artist Candace Hunter tells the story behind one of her pieces as collector Patric McCoy listens during a Hyde Park Art Center’s inaugural Art Bike Ride stop at her studio, July 23, 2016.