Hello Friends! This week I welcome the leadership of the Black Heroes Matter Coalition as guest blogger. Please read and support. Thank you.
MINUTES FROM HONORING FATHER OF CHICAGO, DUSABLE, JUSTICE WAS AGAIN DELAYED…
Chicago, IL (April 19, 2021)
With minutes to the long-awaited historic vote in the Chicago Council Committee on Transportation and Public Way, to rename the iconic Lake Shore Drive as DuSable Drive, which would set Chicago on the road to end Systemic Racism, progress was interrupted and is delayed for another ten days. Committee Chairman Howard Brookins told the Council Committee and Alderman David Moore who is the main sponsor for the ordinance, and the Black Heroes Matter (BHM) Coalition headed by Chairman Ephraim Martin, who is President of Martin’s International, that the issue would be pushed back to April 29, 2021 at 1pm for a vote.
“Today we call on Mayor Lightfoot and her Administration, not to interrupt the plan she promised to support correcting the wrongs to Chicago’s Founding Father, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, the man from the Caribbean country of Haiti. We want the renaming of the iconic Lake Shore Drive as Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive, a City Holiday and a 25-foot Monument” Mr. Martin stated.
The plan to delay the vote to April 29th was made following compelling comments from BHM Coalition members Ephraim Martin, Hon. Shelvin L. M. Hall, Ret. Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Ms. Marilyn May, Communication Co-Chair, Tremell Williams – Youth and Entertainment Chair, Mr. Etzer Cantave- President of the DuSable Heritage Association, Ms. Yolaine Dauphin- Haitian American Lawyers Association.
MARTIN AND IRAWMA: Mr. Martin is also the producer for the world-renowned IRAWMA (International Reggae and World Music Awards) and is in full preparation for its 39th event originally to be televised worldwide from Jamaica on May 2nd. He was scheduled to be in Jamaica from April 25th, but has now officially changed plans, and has rescheduled the virtual IRAWMA broadcast to May 16th from Jamaica, saying. “IRAWMA is my heart, but since we are pre-taping and going virtual, it is easier to change the Awards date, than not to be here in Chicago for this historic vote to put this city, said by many as the most racist city in America, on the road to end Systemic Racism in Chicago.
For almost 30 years, we have been dedicating our various events for Justice for this Black man from the Caribbean who founded this great city. Since the death of George Floyd, under the umbrella of Martin’s International, we officially established the Black Heroes Matter Coalition with now more than eighty organizations and businesses and set our goal to change Chicago starting with the correction of the injustice to its founding father, DuSable, with a City Holiday, a 25-foot Monument, and to rename the most iconic street Lake Shore Drive as DuSable Drive. We told the Mayor in our meeting we cannot stop, we will not stop until victory is accomplished”, Martin said.
We want to again ask the Mayor, City Council members and those who are opposing, to go back 400 years and put themselves into the lives of the Black people, who were brutally enslaved, treated less than a person, raped, hanged, castrated; and when they achieved great things, their credit in history would be granted to white men.
Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable escaped the tribulation and came here to Illinois. Shortly, thereafter, in 1779 he founded this great city we enjoy as Chicago; but after 242 years, there is no Street, no Monument, and no Holiday for this founding Father who happens to be Black.
DuSable made his transition in 1818, and in 1830, Chicago’s first boundaries were set, for the first three streets, and they were all named after white men: Washington, Jefferson, and yes, the killer, John Kinzie, who purchased DuSable’s property; but the founder DuSable, was denied his place in history.
Today, there are hundreds of Chicago Streets in the names of men, but none for the founder who came from the Caribbean country of Haiti!
The atmosphere we are in today tells us to do the right thing, and if we should borrow a quote from Martin Luther King, “The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right”.
We know today that the vote was there to rename Lake Shore Drive as DuSable Drive. Let us change the Chicago narrative so the world will know and see that Chicago is ready to lead the way to put an end to Systemic Racism in America. Remember, as a people we are all one blood, regardless of our race.
Public Comments to Transportation Committee
“I am Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall, recently retired from the Illinois Appellate Court after 30 years of judicial service. I am here today solely in my capacity as Chair of the Political committee of the Black Heroes Matter Coalition.
The children and people of Chicago and the world need this historical acknowledgement of DuSable to give them the rooted strength exhibited by DuSable, a large, handsome, man who was an inveterate explorer, diplomat, builder, miller, farmer, businessman. One man, able to successfully wend his way between the U.S. Patriots, British, French, and Indigenous people during the time of the American Revolution and still create the first and only prosperous, non-indigenous trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan as the Founder of present-day Chicago.
The time is now, the brave horticulturists are you, show the world Chicago’s strong roots by honoring our history, opening – up our origins and celebrating our culture by renaming outer LSD the alliterative, DuSable Drive.”
Ms. Marilyn May, Host/Producer, Marilyn’s Café Society and BHM Communications Co-Chair in her comment, said, “ I just wanted to stop by today to encourage you all to vote to rename Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive today and the next full council meeting on Wednesday.
Now, I realize that there are some divisive and just plain old angry individuals who oppose this initiative but don’t let them affect you or your decision. Keep in mind that they have been raised and conditioned to devalue black people. City Leaders, you cannot and must not allow their negative beliefs and hate of black people influence your vote. Show your wisdom. Show your leadership. Override this ingrained racist thinking by voting Yes. Let the “I”s have it. Say Amen to the renaming of Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive. Go ahead, give a thumbs up; nod your head; raise your hand; wink your eye. Whatever way you communicate– just make sure that its affirmative. Again, you must move this city, country, and world forward. The ugliness is overwhelming! In the past week, a one year old and 7 year old was shot & killed in Chicago. Mass shootings have happened across the country and cities are bracing for the racial unrest that may follow after the verdict of the Derek Chauvin Trial is announced.
Do something positive! Vote Yes to ending racial injustice. Vote Yes to honoring Chicago’s founder, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. Vote Yes to rename LSD to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive.” Ms. May concluded.
Mr. Etzer Cantave, President of the DuSable Heritage Association (DHA) said, “I am here to urge you to vote YES! This will be justice for DuSable. For too long, he has been denied full recognition. We have watched others, who only had a fleeting encounter with the land, being recognized with all manners of symbols–monuments, plaques, street names, parks; while Chicago’s first non-Indigenous settler, first administrator, first real estate developer, first entrepreneur is left to languish and beg for recognition. What a shame! It is time to memorialize DuSable’s contribution to the development of Chicago as a hub for global business, as a world top-tier city.”
“[…] Some say, “Why Lake Shore Drive?” to which I respond: “Why NOT Lake Shore Drive? […]
When it comes to DuSable, we often hear the argument that things are too big or too costly. Nothing cheapens more the image and legacy of Chicago’s Founding Father than such utterances.
Members of the Committee, Justice has no price. Let’s make it right for Haitian-born Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable. Please vote “YES” to rename Lake Shore Drive Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive.”, Mr. Cantave told the Council.
Atty. Yolaine Dauphin member of the Haitian American Lawyers Association, one of the many organizations which support renaming Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. “I stand here, however, not as an attorney but as a representative of the many Haitian Americans and descendants of Haitian immigrants who call the City of Chicago home. … Renaming Lake Shore Drive to DuSable Drive will accomplish several goals: first it will raise the profile of this Black Hero and confer appropriate recognition; second, it will demonstrate to the black and brown children growing up in Chicago that they matter and the contributions they will make to the city and to the world will be recognized and celebrated; and third, it will demonstrate to a Haitian American community that stretches from Evanston to the far south side of Chicago that the contributions of all immigrants are valued and celebrated. I urge each and every member of the Transportation Committee to vote yes on the proposal.”
BHM established a GoFundMe under “DuSableChicago”. Visit http://www.Blackheroesmatter.org to support our campaign and for more information.
That’s it everyone. We will push forward. Join us and in the meantime, stay safe and be well. Remember to strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and taking a good multi-vitamin; wear your mask; watch your distance; and wash your hands often. In Jesus Name. Amen. And, so it is.
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