Friday 4/16 – Thursday 4/22
By Cara Jepsen
16 FRIDAY “The primary challenges facing black lesbians and gays are internal, not external,” says Keith Boykin. His latest book, Respecting the Soul: Daily Reflections for Black Lesbians and Gays, is full of inspiring words from people like Alvin Ailey, Angela Davis, Queen Latifah, and Sapphire. Today Boykin will give a lecture entitled Respecting the Soul: Overcoming Fear and Hatred With Love as part of Collegiate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. The free event is from 5 to 8 in rooms 509 and 510 of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. Call 312-413-9862 for more on this and other events.
The unrelated Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays’ Unity V conference also takes place this weekend, with workshops, seminars, a dinner dance, and keynote speakers Reverend Carol Johnson, Dr. Elias Farajaje-Jones, and writer and activist Barbara Smith. It begins tonight with a reception from 6:30 to 8, followed by a “people of color poetry slam” at 9. Admission to the slam is $5; the weekend conference is $40 to $140. All events take place at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 S. King. Call 312-409-4917 to register.
The National People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement Convention kicks off today too, with a demonstration to free Fred Hampton Jr., who’s serving time for aggravated arson. It’s at noon at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph; the film Free Fred Hampton Jr. premieres at 7 at Uhuru House, 5409 S. Halsted. Tickets are $5. Saturday and Sunday bring workshops on police containment, housing rights, and economic justice. Registration is $10, which includes breakfast. Lunch is an additional $3; dinner is $5. Call 773-924-7072 for more.
17 SATURDAY The public will get a chance to schmooze with some of the directors in town for the Chicago Latino Film Festival, including Colombia’s Diego Garcia Moreno (Colombia Horizontal), Mexico’s Carlos Garcia Agraz (The Dove of Marsella), and Spain’s Eduardo Campoy (To the Limit), at today’s free Meet the Directors reception at the Aldo Castillo Gallery, 233 W. Huron (312-337-2536). The meet-and-greet includes snacks and runs from 3 to 6.
18 SUNDAY Obie Award-winning performer Danny Hoch is currently performing his one-man show, Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where tickets cost $20. But tonight he’ll do a 20-minute excerpt for a mere five bucks at Marc Smith’s weekly Uptown Poetry Slam. It starts at 7 (Hoch goes on around 8) at the Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway (773-878-5552).
We’ve lived through the von Trapps, the Jacksons, the Osmonds, and the Partridge family. Now, just when you thought it was safe, the Duttons come to town. The multitalented troupe from Provo–parents Dean and Sheila and their seven children, who range in age from 18 to 27–clog dance and play an unholy blend of country, folk, bluegrass, and classical music. They’ll perform today at 3 in the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, Stuenkel Road and Governors Highway in University Park. Tickets are $16.50, $5 for children under 16. Two-for-one tickets are available today from 1 to 2. Call 708-235-2222 or 312-902-1500.
19 MONDAY On Friday Barbara Smith will speak at the Unity V conference, and tonight she’ll head over to 57th Street Books to discuss her latest book, The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender and Freedom. The collection spans two decades of Smith’s literary criticism and her essays about race, gender, sexuality, power, and social change. Smith talks at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300).
Also tonight the New African Cinema Film Festival continues at 7 with Wariko, the Jackpot from the Ivory Coast, about a traffic cop who wins the lottery but loses the ticket. It’ll be followed at 9 by the short film The Draughtsman, in which a petty despot who fancies himself an expert at checkers goes head-to-head with a penniless pothead. The 40-minute film, by Congolese director Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda, will be screened with three short films from Chad. The festival runs through April 25 at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton (773-281-4114). Tickets are $7.
20 TUESDAY When organizers of the series Writing Across Generations: Conversations Between Poets asked award-winning poet Luis J. Rodriguez to select a younger Chicago writer whose work he admired, he chose Michael Warr, executive director of the Guild Complex and the recipient of a few awards himself. Warr will join Rodriguez tonight at the free discussion and reading, which starts at 7 at the Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County in Waukegan. Poet Rohan Preston will moderate. Call 847-623-2041 to reserve a space.
21 WEDNESDAY Today the chief of the New York Times’s Chicago bureau, Pam Belluck, will explain how she selects which local stories are fit to print at From Septuplets to Slums to Sosa: Covering Chicago and the Midwest. The free discussion, part of the Block Gallery’s ongoing lecture series “Building Chicago: A Second City, a Second Look,” starts at 4 in room 155 of Northwestern University’s Kresge Centennial Hall, 1967 S. Campus Drive in Evanston. Call 847-491-4852 for reservations.
Any woman walking alone at night in Lincoln Park knows about the roving gangs of drunken former frat boys. While such behavior may be merely boorish, it hints at the larger, darker problem of sexual violence, according to the groups behind tonight’s Take Back the Night March and Rally. The rally starts at 5:30 at the DePaul University quad, by the library at Seminary and Fullerton. It will be followed by the march at 6:15 and a “speak out” at 7. Call 312-372-6600, extension 271, for more.
22 THURSDAY Today, the 29th annual Earth Day, is also the anniversary of the founding of Arcosanti, the “organic city” in central Arizona. Created by Paolo Soleri, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright, it demonstrates the principles of arcology, a method of building cities in balance with nature. Today Soleri’s former apprentice Rafael Pizarro will lead a free slide lecture called Arcology: 50 Years of the Visionary Urban Designs of Paolo Soleri. It’s from 5 to 7 in the Harold Washington Library Center auditorium, 400 S. State (312-747-4050).