Over the past few weeks, I have been in contact with several black-owned businesses on the West Side. And you know what? All my experiences have been top-notch. So I want to take the time to share those businesses with you. But don’t just take my word. Call or visit them for yourself!

The first business is Dortch Enterprise Cycling Voyagers. This fantastic program, created by a former Chicago Park District employee, Andrew Dortch, has children biking all over town.

The reason I can speak highly of the program is because for five years, I trusted Mr. Dortch with the safety of my son in his program. Not only did they bike during the summer, Dortch also had fall camp, where they biked every Saturday. He then followed that up with Ski Camp where the children went skiing.

So I was glad to hear from him a couple of days ago letting me know that the bike camp is back. The camp is open to children, age 10-17, who want to experience a summer program that will let them be on the move.

And being on the move is what the Cycling Voyagers is all about. They used the Chicago parks for their bike training days. They learned the rules of the road for biking. Every week they took a trip where they biked from the West Side to the lakefront. They biked along the lakefront to all of the museums. They biked up north to Evanston. My son’s favorite bike trip was to take the Prairie Path bike trail on a 50-mile ride to Glen Ellyn in the western suburbs. Anyone interested in the camp should contact Andrew Dortch at 773/626-3391.

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the Taurus Art show at Austin Town Hall. We have a local artist, Mandel Pinkston who presented his absolutely fabulous artwork to the community. His prices for an original work of art were cheaper than what I used to pay at those home art shows that sold me lithographs rather than genuine oil paintings. Mr. Pinkston’s art is extremely detailed and unlike others who have been imitating Annie Lee by having faceless art, Pinkston’s art has facial details.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner so why not contact him and have him do a portrait of Mom?”or even better, a family portrait? Trust me. Once you see his work, you will be hooked! You can reach Mandel Pinkston at 773/826-1329.

Lastly, a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to African Accents at 5847 W. Chicago Ave. Stacia Crawford offered an evening of food, foot massages and pedicures. A couple of my co-workers came, and they were amazed that we had such a nice location on the West Side for friends to get together. The atmosphere was warm, inviting and the foot massage was fabulous!

So, Ladies, get a group of 10 friends, or your female block club members and have a foot pampering evening at African Accents. Summer is almost here and many of us should have a professional pedicure before putting on those sandals. You can reach Stacia Crawford at 773/626-4497.

Let’s support our black businesses that are doing good business.