Roosevelt Platform on State/Roosevelt
Nine Minutes of Maxwell Street Blues
A somewhat bittersweet documentary (excerpt, above) about the effort to save the Maxwell Street Market, a vast mecca of peddlers and other commerce, food and widely regarded as the birthplace of Chicago blues.
IMDb overview of full-length…
Maxwell Street Blues (1981; 56min) IMDb: “Electric blues sprang from the need for amplification to lure crowds to Chicago’s now-gone neighborhood where Black and Jewish merchants pushed hot Polish sausage and cheap, sometimes hot goods in an open-air market, while blues and gospel musicians wailed on the streets.
Shot in 1981 by a crew from the then-new University of Illinois at Chicago, which in concert with the Mayors Daley, was instrumental in wiping out the 80 year old culture and its neighborhood, which adjoined UIC’s campus.
Many blues legends got their start passing a hat on Maxwell Street. Documents the unique vibe of a rare multi-ethnic atmosphere in highly segregated Chicago.” - written by David Stevens.
[ MAXWELL STREET ANNIVERSARY BONUS LINK ]
WBEZ 91.5 - Maxwell Street blues
by Rick Kogan | October 23, 2012
“There was a celebration Sunday to mark the 100th birthday of Maxwell Street. It was not a big party and not held on Maxwell Street - but rather at what is called the Maxwell Street Market at Des Plaines and Roosevelt.
I was there; and I was there too when Maxwell Street was dying. The fall of 1998, and I am there. The curbs are broken, the sidewalks smashed and thrown askew as if by a small earthquake. It was a shattered, tattered and shuttered street. The block east of Halsted is a mess of iron grates, plywood and broken glass windows, barely able to echo the vibrancy that was here for more than a century; a disorderly but delightfully dizzying mix of immigrant cultures and commerce and the blues.
The University of Illinois at Chicago, which owned much of the land in the area and is expanding its campus, moving in for the kill.
A group of concerned citizens, activists and blues performers formed the Maxwell Street Historic Preservation Coalition in an attempt to save something of the street…”
[ See Kogan’s FULL WBEZ Maxwell Street blues (w soundcloud audio) HERE ]
The systematic process of displacing communities of color for profit is continued again with UIC which also plays an intricate role in the gentrification process of Pilsen, specifically the east-side. Its expansion south and the housing that took over much of Halsted to right before 18th street was a tactful invitation for college students and white hipsters to move into this neighborhood—long-time home to working class latino families. And just like any other gentrification process, businesses attracted to young white college kid and their white hipster friend’s disposable income have been seen making their mark hiking up the property tax and driving up the cost of living. The heart of Pilsen is slowly fading and eloteros and mom and pop & shops which served their part in enticing the white hipster are now replaced with art galleries and boutique shops.Pilsen will unfortunately have the same fate as Maxwell Street.
First south side Chicago music festival to wrap up the summer! Featuring performances on two different stages, movie screenings, health & wellness seminar and more!
Friday August 29th, 2014 | 12:00PM - 10:00PM
400 West 71st Street, Chicago Illinois 60621
Chi Voices poet Edye Deloch-Hughes talks about her piece “What Could of Been,” inspired by slain teen Hadiya Pendleton, followed by a teaser from the film.
*Chi Voices is a media project with six premier poets who creatively express their personal experiences with violence in their communities through Spoken Word and Film.—