[Chicago Slices raw: Rhonda Daniels]

Raw footage for "Chicago Slices," a series about everyday life in Chicago. This tape features Rhonda Daniels, a cartoon artist who lives in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Daniels talks about her art as a way to express and educate about life in the "urban jungle" and demonstrates her artwork while she talks about the challenges of life in the city, including racism, drugs, crime, and poverty.

00:00Copy video clip URL The videomakers climb the stairs to Daniels’ apartment.

00:42Copy video clip URL “My name is Rhonda Daniels, and here’s my story…” Daniels explains how many artists put Chicago into their artwork, citing her own childhood in Uptown, and how she puts these experiences into her cartoons. She uses her cartoon, “White Girl in Chicago” as a way to illustrate all the things she’s lived through and experienced; the cartoon is both a story and a reality.

05:00Copy video clip URL The interview is restarted from the top. Daniels adds that her hope is that people know what is going on in urban areas like Chicago, and lists drugs, crime, racism, and other social ills as issues that need to be addressed. She says her cartoons are a way to educate and provide a lot of information in a small space and in an entertaining way. Daniels hopes that parents and other people get involved with children, contrasting this idea with how she grew up: in an abusive household, learning on the street since she was 13. Daniels tears up, but goes on to talk about the differences between her art and her life.

09:36Copy video clip URL Daniels starts a drawing and continues to talk as she demonstrates her craft. She talks about the segregation of Chicago and the challenges of interracial relationships. She says that some of her friends have died of AIDS or were shot and killed. She says that one of the benefits of living in Uptown is being “streetwise” and criticizes drug use. She says her professional goal is to continue to draw and use her artwork in her career, noting the support of her family.

13:34Copy video clip URL Daniels excuses herself, taking a moment to collect herself and cool off in the other room.

14:43Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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