Year in review

1) In September a large march was organized for the six young men who had been arrested following a school fight in Jena, La. They became known as the Jena Six. The incident provoking the fight resulted from nooses being hung from a tree on the Jena High School property. On Sept. 1, 2006, a hangman’s noose was placed on the “white tree” after black students sat under the tree. On Nov. 30, 2006, a fire destroyed the main building at Jena High School. On Dec. 4, 2006, a fight broke out on campus and six African-American students were arrested and charged with attempted second degree murder. In June of 2007, Mychal Bell one of the defendants was found guilty and faced up to 22 years in prison for aggravated second-degree battery.

2) WVON celebrated its move to a new state-of-the-art studio at 1000 E. 87th St. Ribbon-cutting was held on the first day of Black History Month, Feb. 1.

3) Richard Stamz, known in Chicago as “Open The Door Richard,” held the title of being the oldest man in radio until his death on June 12, 2007. Stamz was one of the pioneers of radio in the black community.

4) Chicago was saddened to learn of the death of Rev. Shelvin Jerome Hall, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, on May 21, just 20 days after the death of his beloved wife, Lucy. He was 91.

5) On Dec. 7, Michelle Obama represented husband, Barack, at Apostolic Church of God where black ministers endorsed his presidential campaign.

6) Carolyn Adams, Illinois Lottery head, lost her battle with breast cancer in March of 2007. Ms. Adams and WVON President Melody Spann Cooper were spiritual and business sisters.

7) Jordan Temple Missionary Baptist Church, located at 900 N. Lockwood, where you will find the very charismatic minister Pastor Stephen E. Richardson, is known by his congregation as the “miracle preacher.” He had a disease called cardiomiopathy for which there is no cure. So the only option left was a heart transplant. He’s still preaching.

8) On Nov. 18, Congressman Danny K. Davis was driving home along 15th Street and Kedzie Avenue after doing a radio show he co-hosts on Sundays. He is pulled over and given a ticket. Davis says he was a victim of driving while black.

9) Rev. Jesse Jackson, on Oct. 9, along with West Side ministers Rev. Gregory Livingston, Rev. Ira Acree and various other leaders, moved into the Harold Ickes Homes for the evening to highlight the problems tenants are having.

10) On Oct. 22, the Oak Park-Austin Health Alliance honored Dwight Bailey, pastor of Austin Boulevard Church and West Suburban Hospital’s EVS (Environmental Science) Workers.

11) South Austin Coalition held a press conference about an alleged slum landlord on May 23. A protest was held at 5501-03 W. Quincy demanding a criminal investigation of landlord Ramon Juarez. Quincy tenants accused Mr. Juarez of endangering their live by stealing gas and rigging the pipes, forcing them to go through the winter without heat. Additionally Juarez has been accused of not paying water, gas and electric bills or complying with building maintenance codes.

12) The trial of Howard Morgan began on April 23 at 26th & California in Judge Clayton Crane’s court room. Morgan had been shot 28 times by Chicago police during a traffic stop in February of 2005. On May 12, the jurors in the Morgan case indicated they were deadlocked.

13) Commander Alfonza Wysinger of the 15th District apprehended an individual with a gun. He spotted the man while off duty, visiting his mother in August.

14) On July 14, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Greg Livingston and Rev. Ira Acree, protested at Suburban Sporting Goods Ammo & Gun Shop, 2306 W. North Ave., in west suburban Melrose Park.

15) On Nov. 9, South Austin Coalition (SACCC) celebrated their 30th anniversary of service to the Austin community. The banquet dinner was held at the Regency Inn, 5319 W. Diversey. Their theme was “Fight Back With SACCC.”

16) On Nov. 10, Eyes on Austin, in conjunction with ComEd and South Austin Coalition, launched a pilot program promoting energy efficiency in homes for senior citizens.