WHAT IS BRONZEVILLE? THE NORTHERN DESTINATION OF THE GREAT MIGRATION OF A HALF A MILLION AFRICAN AMERICANS COMING TO UP FROM THE SOUTH TO CHICAGO.

 

 

Mr. Harold L. Lucas PRESIDENT AND CEO – OKema LewisActions for Mr. Harold L. Lucas PRESIDENT AND CEO – OKema Lewis
O’Kema Lewis posted Dec 14, 2016 11:36 PMSubscribed
HAROLD L. LUCAS

Image result for Pictures of HAROLD L LUCASImage result for Pictures of HAROLD L LUCASImage result for Pictures of HAROLD L LUCAS

ICON: a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something.

Disclaimer number listed has been changed, please see last page for current information about his tours.

Connecting the Anthropology term, Big Man, Social Justice, Power and Authority with my take on the iconic figure, Harold L Lucas, our Bronzeville tour guide. President and CEO of the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council.

WHAT IS BRONZEVILLE? THE NORTHERN DESTINATION OF THE GREAT MIGRATION OF A HALF A MILLION AFRICAN AMERICANS COMING TO UP FROM THE SOUTH TO CHICAGO.

During our class educational field trip tour Nov. 12, 2016, we were all blessed to

have a true historian of Bronzeville share its legacy via the accountings of the President

and CEO of the Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council, located at the crown

jewel of the Bronzeville area, The Supreme Life building. None other than the iconic Mr.

Harold L. Lucas. This council was formed in 1996 to address the issue of the Bronzeville

Emergence. Mr. Lucas shared his lifelong sojourn of almost 40 years with each story.

How he, Mr. Lucas fought to preserve the buildings and structures that represent the

GREAT MIGRATION experience to Chicago. As we boarded his nice spacious

comfortable “minivan” and our tour began the voice of Mr. Lucas began to take us back in

time to share the beauty of the culture of this city that many of us had never heard before.

Even though we had been residents for numerous years, I dubbed this event the “Keeping it

Real” tour from the big-man. (*anthropology term) Mr. Harold L. Lucas, spoke and became

an icon in my eyes. (hence my basis for listing the definition at the beginning of my report)

He described himself as the Needle of the Quilt. As we toured and were given an actual

“look see” we all learned about all of the rich accountings for various landmarks in this city

primarily because of his vast empirical knowledge. Mr. Lucas shared with us the sites he

has fought to preserve; battling with the powers that be, legislators and others, civic

organizations that fight to eliminate our culture and again our RICH history. The City of

Chicago and the entrepreneurial spirit we have because of our ancestors was real to our

eyes and minds in a way few can convey with any accuracy. Many statements rang true

with such uncanny familiarity, but they were spoken as lightly as one says hello because

they are the blue print and fabric of Mr. Lucas.

His own special colloquialisms are echoed during the tour,

“Blues being the root and everything else being the fruit resonated in our minds. Power

moves that come with money and authority were conveyed with just a slip of the tongue,

like his sharing that when one sees a crane in the sky, take note that is a ten million dollar

project. Telling us significant details about John H. Johnson that we might not have

otherwise been informed about, such as how the Johnson and Johnson building was able to

have an enclosed parking garage and entrance at 820 S. Michigan and it was the only one

downtown at that time. This reflected power and authority uncommon at this time for

anyone but especially a poor black man. Sadly enough there was also the downside of our

history shared also, such as our Defender Building (2400 South Michigan) being lost to us

as an historical site. Purchased by white landowners. (respectfully stated).

And one of the most notably stories is about the street plaques in front of the

MLK library on 35th and King Drive was about other great legacies men and women of our culture.

Listening to the information he carries as a historian and lover of culture, Social justice

gains new meaning. The 1948 saga about the term “legal restricted covenant”, is still

a mind boggling term to learn about and how it is connected to The University of Chicago,

and the half a million blacks who migrated to this city but they were restricted to live

within the Black belt. I could go and on but needless to say, this is a man many need to hear

speak and learn from because he shares the history of not only Bronzeville but how politics

and others one-upmanship games are connected to our culture for this city. Many schools

and or books have never and may yet convey to students or the general public this valuable

history lesson. Even though this is a required course for all schools in the state of Illinois.

(105 ILCS 5/27-20.4) (from Ch. 122, par. 27-20.4)
Sec. 27-20.4. Black History Study. Every public elementary school and high school shall include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events of Black History, including the history of the African slave trade, slavery in America, and the vestiges of slavery in this country. These events shall include not only the contributions made by individual African-Americans in government and in the arts, humanities and sciences to the economic, cultural and political development of the United States and Africa, but also the socio-economic struggle which African-Americans experienced collectively in striving to achieve fair and equal treatment under the laws of this nation. The studying of this material shall constitute an affirmation by students of their commitment to respect the dignity of all races and peoples and to forever eschew every form of discrimination in their lives and careers. The State Superintendent of Education may prepare and make available to all school boards instructional materials, including those established by the Amistad Commission, which may be used as guidelines for development of a unit of instruction under this Section; provided, however, that each school board shall itself determine the minimum amount of instruction time which shall qualify as a unit of instruction satisfying the requirements of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 94-285, eff. 7-21-05.)

Many want to govern this city without addressing the clarion call that is needed.

Mr. Lucas, states that it is truly time for social justice to rear its head for while many can

share stories about Bronzeville, few can spin the yarn with facts as Mr. Lucas can do while

perhaps waking one up to the greatness from whence we come. It is also possible

that this information can change ones perspective for life about the richness of this city and

how we, African Americans must preserve our legacy or lose our place.

Information from his website is listed with my brief story about the iconic Mr. Lucas. Image result for Pictures of HAROLD L LUCAS

Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council (BMC&TC) is a 501c3 not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the historic Bronzeville community and the broader south lakefront region of Chicago. BMC&TC focuses on civic engagement, service learning, and cultural heritage tourism development. Harold L. Lucas

President/CEO Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council
Bronzeville Visitor Information Center – 3501 South Martin Luther King Drive, Suite One East
Chicago, Illinois 60653

Email: bronzevilletourism@gmail.com

Web site portal: www.bviconline.info

773. 676. 6207 BUSINESS PHONE

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *