All posts by ebonycurry

Salon welcomes self-care healing to Chicago’s south side community

By Ebony JJ Curry
Medill Reports

Studies have shown that African Americans face more stressors than other groups, because of the adversities the community encounters. To counter that added stress, Haji Healing Salon promotes a life-enhancing way of living to one’s highest potential by being internally healthy.

Born and raised in South Shore, Aya-Nikole Cook is the owner of Haji Healing Salon, a quaint space on 79th which specializes in community yoga and acupuncture as methods of healing undeserved communities.

Photo at top: Aya-Nikole Cook chats with a client before an acupuncture treatment at Haji Healing Salon in the East Chatham neighborhood of Chicago. (Ebony JJ Curry/MEDILL)

Bronzeville apparel shop honors the Negro Baseball League in a place where it started

By Ebony JJ Curry
Medill Reports

In 1992, Bruce Gage saw a young man wearing a Negro League Baseball cap at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. “I was like wow,” he said. “If they’re going to wear baseball caps, I’m going to introduce [more people] to the Negro League baseball caps.”

Since then, Gage and his partner Jimmy White have built their company Flyball into a full line of apparel — not just hats, but also shirts, neckties and sweaters. They feature five teams from the Negro Baseball Leagues… including the Chicago American Giants. “The cool thing about the Negro League a lot of people don’t know is that it started right here in Bronzeville,” he said.

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In the ‘City of Neighborhoods,’ a summer of fun

By Ebony JJ Curry
Medill Reports

Chicago is the third largest city in America and also one of the most visited. Last year, nearly 58 million people visited the Windy City, according to a projection by Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism bureau. Those numbers peak in the summer months.

And for locals who endure the city’s notorious winters, summer is cause for celebration. Every week is filled with boatloads of activities, events and lots of food. Chicago has often been called a “City of Neighborhoods,” and many of those communities have an annual festival in the summer months — from Uptown’s Windy City Ribfest to Hyde Park’s Bantu Fest to Pilsen’s Fiesta del Sol.  Here’s a video guide to some of what summer has to offer in Chicago.

Photo at top: Several companies offer 90-minute architecture tours on the Chicago River, with hourly departures in the summer months. Most tours depart from the Chicago Riverwalk. (Ebony JJ Curry/MEDILL)

The Bronzeville Incubator hopes to rekindle the community’s history of black entrepreneurship

Ebony JJ Curry
Medill Reports

Bronzeville, also known as the Black Metropolis, is a center of African-American history on Chicago’s south side. At its peak in the 1930s and  1940s, Bronzeville was a mecca of entrepreneurship and culture, creating a black renaissance that rivaled the one in Harlem.

Today,  The Bronzeville Incubator has re-introduced that history by making a hub for both up-and-coming as well as seasoned entrepreneurs to build new businesses in the neighborhood.

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Hiplet, the combo hip-hop and ballet dance phenomenon, finds a global audience

By Ebony JJ Curry
Medill Reports

When one thinks of ballet, hip-hop isn’t generally the first thing that comes to mind. But it’s a new dawn and it’s a new day for the world of ballet, thanks to Homer Bryant, founder of Hiplet.

Bryant, a Chicago native, merged dancing on pointe with lots of rhythm and soul to create Hiplet, in hopes of bringing more African-American ballerinas into the world of dance.

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The trend toward natural hair styles continues as African-Americans embrace their “hair-itage”

By Ebony JJ Curry
Medill Reports

For years, black women devoted hours and hundreds of dollars to relaxing their hair. But sales of the chemical products used to straighten hair have been declining in the African-American hair-care market. One estimate predicts chemical relaxers will make up the smallest percentage of the market by 2020.

This is due in large part to a movement toward more natural hair styles that began in the early 2000s. Braids, sew-ins, afros and other natural hair styles that used to be seen by many as “too ethnic,” are now being embraced.

Salons throughout the country are now focusing on natural hair style options and are teaching women how to care for and protect their natural locks.

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