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  • Famed Boxing Promoter, Manager and Trainer Lou Duva dies at 94

    Famed Boxing Promoter, Manager and Trainer Lou Duva dies at 94

    A son of Italian immigrants, Duva was born in 1922. By the 1950’s Duva owned a successful trucking company and was happily married. He began spending a great deal of time at the legendary Stillman’s Gym. Stillman’s Gym drew a slew of famous boxers and managers. Inspired, Lou sold his trucking company and started Garden Gym. He went onto handle 19 world champion boxers. Duva explained, “I’ve been fighting all my life, so I know what it’s like to catch … Continue reading

  • Precursors to Today’s Police Violence

    Precursors to Today’s Police Violence

    On January 13, 2017, the Department of Justice released the results of their 13-month investigation into the Chicago Police Department in a 166-page report. The report tells of dangerous patterns of unwarranted killings, civil-rights abuses, discrimination, and officers acting with impunity. In light of these findings, we have taken a look back through our archives to pinpoint some historical roots of these complicated, longstanding conflicts. We look at the “Shoot to Kill” order given by Mayor Richard J. Daley in … Continue reading

  • Cindy Neal: Everyday Portraits

    Cindy Neal: Everyday Portraits

    We’re pleased to present newly preserved and digitized works from the 1970s by Cindy Neal, an independent Chicago-based videomaker. After attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she worked at Videopolis and then became the director and curator of exhibitions at the Chicago Editing Center starting in 1978, which later became the Center for New Television. Her work in the 1970s included experimental forms of video image processing, as well as works of video journalism. Several of Cindy’s … Continue reading

  • Ruth Ratny, chronicler of the Chicago film industry

    Ruth Ratny, chronicler of the Chicago film industry

    “Screen was the Bible of the Chicago film industry, and Ruth was, well, Ruth was Ruth.”–Scott Jacobs. Photo from 1987 courtesy The Polaroid Wall. It might sound trite to say Ruth Ratny was a force of nature. Like the Chicago wind, she was forceful and persistent. Ruth Louise Ratny died in her sleep last Tuesday, February 21. She was in her 80’s and lived her whole life in Chicago. Ruth was the queen of all media in Chicago — film, television … Continue reading

  • Valentine’s Day video present from Australia

    Valentine’s Day video present from Australia

    Love is a many-splendored thing, or so the song goes. It’s that time of year again, when people get to express their undying devotion to one another. This sometimes takes the form of a card and wilted flowers picked up at the local drug store on the way home. But for the two love birds in this video, true love is a reality, at least in the unreal world of commercials. Unfriendly onlookers and the occasional flying bathtub can’t stop … Continue reading

  • Richard Stamz, Pervis Spann, and Carl Wright: They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Any More.

    Richard Stamz, Pervis Spann, and Carl Wright: They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Any More.

    Blues & More was a local Chicago talk show on cable channel 25 during the 1980s and 1990s. It combined host and entertainment entrepreneur Pervis Spann’s offbeat sense of humor with music videos from R & B and blues artists. In this 1994 episode of Blues & More, Spann talks with movie actor and performer Carl Wright and longtime Chicago radio personality Richard Stamz, about Stamz’s career across a changing entertainment industry. Spann was 61 at the time of the … Continue reading

  • “Adverse environments are a crucible to test your willpower.”–Oscar Lopez Rivera

    “Adverse environments are a crucible to test your willpower.”–Oscar Lopez Rivera

    Yesterday, President Obama commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist linked to the radical group F.A.L.N. In the 1970s and ’80s the F.A.L.N. plotted bombings in Chicago and New York with the goal of securing Puerto Rican independence. In 1981, López Rivera was sentenced to 55 years in prison after being convicted of several charges, including a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. and Puerto Rican governments. In 1988, he received an additional 15-year sentence after … Continue reading

  • “Where do we go from here?”–Dovie Thurman on the death of MLK

    “Where do we go from here?”–Dovie Thurman on the death of MLK

    Monday is a celebration of the life and work of beloved civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His many and great accomplishments in the struggle for equality during the ’50s and ’60s live on in his inspirational words, which continue to guide the practices of nonviolent activism today. His assassination in 1968 was a terrible shock felt around the world and to all who fought for civil and human rights. In this video from the archive, Studs Terkel … Continue reading