Friday, April 20, 2012

    Chicago Police Gang Investigations and Narcotics officers, in partnership with agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, identified 35 of the most violent members of the 4 Corner Hustlers street gang for arrest and prosecution. The gang hierarchy controls open air drug markets on Harding Avenue from Iowa to Thomas Streets in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood. The joint efforts led to additional intelligence revealing of an international drug cartel as the narcotics supply source.
    The mission culminated in the recovery of more than $1.6 million in narcotics, eight firearms, and nearly $1 million in cash. At a press conference following the arrests, Superintendent Garry McCarthy explained the connection between narcotics sales fueling illegal gun purchases and the urban violence plaguing Chicago’s African American neighborhoods.
    Team members conducted 39 controlled narcotics buys from numerous 4 Corner Hustlers gang members throughout the course of the investigation. Covert purchases and enforcement stops resulted in recovery of eight weapons, including an assault rifle, from targeted offenders. Additionally, undercover buys and seizures yielded a substantial recovery of cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Five narcotics money seizures recovered nearly $955,000 in U.S. currency.
    OPERATION TRIPLE THREAT focused on violent gang-related activity in the Harrison (11th) District, where the Chicago Police Violence Reduction Initiative announced by Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy last month has been underway to drive down crime in the area. The drug markets dismantled by OPERATION TRIPLE THREAT are directly associated with the street violence occurring in the 11th District.
Chicago Police & Federal Agents arrested 35 gang members, seized 8 guns, nearly $1 million in cash, and large amounts of narcotics in OPERATION TRIPLE THREAT on Harding Ave.

National Poetry Month

I want to talk to my grandmother
“By and by…”
The church folks sing
I miss the love, joy
and comfort she’d bring
She left me some money
But it couldn’t take her place
If I ever win a million
You can have it!
If I could see her face
“By and by
By and by…”
I want to cry
I want to cry
Sunday mornings
Early spring
Chicken dressing
Collard greens
Homemade ice cream
Happy dreams
I want my grandmother
more than anything
“By and by…”
The church folks sing

By Sharon Cartledge

Black, Beautiful and Proud!
I am black, beautiful and proud of my heritage.        
Some people don’t think my dark skin and kinky hair is attractive.                       
But guess what I know so!  
I am confident when I look in the mirror.                      
I know I am black and beautiful. I love who I am!     
I love the way I look!          
This is why I walk with dignity.                             
This is why I walk with the daring.                             
I dare you to do the same! 
Choose to do what’s right instead of what’s wrong.    
I dare you to stop feeling sad! I dare you to sing a joyous song!                     
Just remember everything God made,
he admitted it was good and beautiful.      
I admit you are! I admit I am a beautiful creation!          
So lift up your heads that are bowed down low!           
Pull up your saggy pants and show, that you know!
That you are black, beautiful and proud of your heritage-

By Shontavia Armstrong

 It’s all becoming perfectly clear
that reason why we’re still here.
It seems we’ve all got a chore to do
and to each other. we must be true!
Now we’re bearing witness to a universal change
and to some of us it all sounds a little strange
but to all of us, we know that it’s true;
just look at the changes that we’re going through!!
Now things are changing most everywhere
and some of us might say that ‘we don’t care!!’
but we do! matter what we might say
cause it’s just an expression of this present day.
For those who know---it’s truly a blessing.
but for those who don’t- it all seems like guessing
But for ALL, it’s only a matter of time
before the truth forces them to draw a line
And the line must be walked
instead of used as a border
that is...if you’re truly aiming for order
you mustn’t get hung up on choosing a side
‘cause it’s like feeding your ego foolish pride!
Now it’s all becoming clear
and the simple fact that you’re still here
should let you know that there’s still time take heed to this poem of mine!!!

  Leroy Porche’ Jr.

Prepared Man
He walks with a pace of confidence
a strong quiet restraint
Lazy, trifling, irresponsible
those words oh no he ain’t
He’s raised that good old fashioned way buttermilk and cornbread fed. Head of his house he ain’t no mouse enemies him they dread.

God fearing man does what he speaks
His promises he always keeps
No bastard child attached to him
No average chick will do for him.
His standards high his bills are paid
A steady foundation he has laid

Hardworking guy sought after much
Rough exterior soft soul to touch
Who is this man I describe you say?
He’s a prepared man they’re bred that way.
Like a cake ingredients added then stirred in
He’s down for you to the bitter end.

Will walk with you when times get hard.
Your feelings will always regard.
Will give his last so you can eat
When you’re down and out the path he’ll beat
To pull you up and lift you high
His aspirations big high as the sky
He’ll help you cook clean and errands run
He works with his fist he don’t need a gun
Upstanding man a friend to many
His shortcomings few if any
Doesn’t waste his time with games boys play
He’s a prepared man, they’re bred that way.

By: Antwan McHenry

“With diverse audiences, performers get diverse responses. African American audiences are often known to be more verbal in expressing their feelings about a performance. It’s what I refer to as the Amen Corner. One of the many things I liked about Sunday was that we may have witnessed Tekki playing to her first Amen Corner. Though I’ve enjoyed several of her performances in the past, the grey-haired African American gentleman’s vocal expression of appreciation gave it something extra for me, and hopefully for her, too.”                                                      
    Those are the words of Victor Cole, who attended the opening of EMBRACE THE SPACE, a program series at St Martin’s Episcopal Church. He was referring to the actor, playwright, director, and educator Tekki Lomnicki who presented her story in a solo performance of Paper Doll, and then taught participants how to use their own life experiences to tell theirs in her entertaining workshop What’s Your Story. 
    St. Martin’s, through a grant from The Chicago Community Trust, is partnering with Bodies of Work, a program of the University of Illinois at Chicago, to present a unique form of artistic expression known as disability art and culture, Disability art refers to the creative work of people with disabilities that reflects a disability experience, advances the rights of disabled people, and widens society’s understanding of what it means to be human. It is found in every artistic medium from the performing arts, literature, and visual arts to comic books, film, and design. Disability art plays a key role in articulating what disability means politically, personally, and aesthetically, and that meaning translates into what many in the disability community consider its “culture.”
    Coming this Sunday, April 15, at 1:30pm is Body Magic, a printmaking workshop for children and adults of all ages presented by Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi, an artist from Taiwan, whose artwork examines the way art can be used to address the relationship between the body and society’s standards of beauty and disability. The Body Magic workshop begins with a short talk by the artist about her art, a printmaking demonstration, and time to make your creation and share your experience with others. In it you get a chance to create some wearable art on a t-shirt, bandana, or tote bag, which you can take home! As an added attraction in celebration of NATIONAL POETRY MONTH three local poets, Lily Diego, Pennie Holmes-Brinson, and St. Martin’s own, David D. Jones, will read their original works.
The EMBRACE THE SPACE series continues on Sunday April 29, when Alana Hodges Wallace, founder and artistic director of Dance>Detour, Chicago’s first physically integrated dance company, will lead a movement workshop - So You Think You Can’t Dance - for people of all abilities. The series closes on Sunday, May 20 with Carrie Sandahl presenting Images of Disability in Films for Kids, a screening of film clips followed by a discussion with the audience of how Hollywood portrays people with disability in children’s films. 
    All events are FREE, wheelchair accessible, sign language interpreted and audio described. And all are welcomed – young people, single people, couples with or without children, and elders — everyone from the young to the young-at-heart. Food and refreshments will be served.   
    EMBRACE THE SPACE events are funded by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.. And, in keeping with St. Martin’s flexible worship space and welcoming attitude toward multiple types of families and households, all are welcomed and all events are FREE. Reservations are recommended.
    For EMBRACE THE SPACE program information, disability accommodations, or to RSVP please phone 312 996-1967, or email For Information about St. Martin’s Episcopal Church contact Rev. Christopher E. Griffin, Vicar at 773 378-8111 or