"Barrelhouse Bonni" McKeown, the author of "West Side Blues Blog," has played piano and written about blues music for over 15 years. www.barrelhousebonni.com She has led classes for young and old on how to make up their own blues tune. www.chicagoschoolofblues.org She stayed on the West Side from 2004-05, then wrote articles on West Side Blues for Big City Blues Magazine and has helped promote West Side Chicago blues singer and drummer Larry Hill Taylor (stepson of guitarist Eddie Taylor). www.larrytaylorchicagoblues.com She co-produced Larry Taylor's 2004 debut CD They Were in This House, reissued in 2011 by Wolf Records. She is in the process of producing a movie based on Taylor's life story starring Leon as Larry's stepfather and Guy Davis in the role of Jimmy Reed: The Rhythm and the Blues
Bonni returned to stay in Austin in 2017, and continues her efforts to increase blues education to keep kids off the street. She promotes blues as a point of local pride and a possibility for economic development and tourism to benefit the community.
Marshall Hatch Jr. — the son of Marshall Hatch Sr., the pastor of New Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church said he tried to avoid being a minister for a while, but then came a mission he could not ignore: Maafa.
A mother's addiction, a family's compensating love, a burning desire to graduate from Howard University, and frustrations over racial ignorance among fellow teachers led Tuyeni Akanke to her current mission.
Elizabeth Todd-Breland, an assistant history professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, presented her new book, "A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago since the 1960s."
Larry Taylor: My talented brother Eddie is dead at age 47. It's never too late to do the right thing by me and others in the family. Please stop acting like I am not around. I'm 63. I want to play my music, be who I am, and live my life in peace. Give me the respect and you will get it back from me in return. Give me my flowers while I am still alive cause when I am dead it does no good.
It's Black History month and Larry Taylor asks for your support for Black musicians. Join him at Black History Month Blue Monday show at the Water Hole, 1400 S. Western, each Monday— Feb. 11, 18 and 25— 7 p.m. til midnight. Over 21. No cover charge; 2 drink minimum.