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The Black Mount Rushmore

Jordan Winfrey Obama FTW
Photos: (JORDAN) Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune; (WINFREY) Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times; (OBAMA) Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

What’s great about Chicago for me, being black and from the South Side? It’s knowing that Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Jordan—the triumvirate of modern black icons—spent their formative years here. Knowing that our streets and people and restaurants and churches molded them into greatness gives me hope for my own generation and the ones to come. There’s something in the air here. Is it the waft of fried grease from the old Jays potato chip factory mixed with the mellow sweetness of purple and yellow wildflowers growing along the Dan Ryan? Or is it simply that we have grit, beauty, smarts, and reach? Because kids today have never seen Jordan play and have no memory of cutting school to go to Grant Park to watch the Bulls’ “six-peat” celebration. And yet Jordans still sell. Yes. Reach.


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