Tag Archive for Washington Park

A Public Self

While the imminent possibility of the end of the Obama presidency was not widely welcome on the South Side, it raised another: namely, the chance to host a presidential library. Since election night 2008, Hyde Park has been widely considered…

Woodlawn & Washington Park

The communities known as Washington Park and Woodlawn, in many ways, are symbols of Chicago’s South Side. Anchored by the park itself, Washington Park was once a large blue collar community made up of workers from the nearby stockyards and…

The Gospel According to Barrett

The Life Center Church of God in Christ sits on the corner of Garfield and Indiana, just east of the honorary two-and-a-half block Rev. T.L. Barrett, Jr. Blvd. The boulevard’s namesake is sitting in a pew close to the pulpit.

Cirque du Soul

On October 1st, the eastern edge of Washington Park is coming alive as families make their way into the blue and yellow tents of the UniverSoul Circus. The classic circus imagery is all here: brightly dressed clowns, animals pacing outside the tents, food everywhere, and appreciative kids. But there’s a significant difference from a typical circus scene: the audience is almost entirely African-American, and the circus itself draws on themes of black culture. Inside the tents, the expected smells of popcorn and funnel cakes that fill the air have a twist; vendors sell foods such as “soulhot wings” to inspire the mood in the circus audience.

Hip-Hop under the Big Top

The Soul Circus Divas circled around the ring, grooving along to Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” as their roaring audience’s applause swelled with frenetic excitement. Accenting their performance with impressive headstands and choreographed dances, the Divas amazed the crowd with…