Black History Month - Harold Washington
In case you forgot (I did), February is black history month and to help celebrate I wanted to share with you a little information about this guy Harold Washington. The first time I came across Mr. Washington was below ground, while walking out of a CTA stop. As I walked, I came across a mural of Chicago's past mayors. There were the obvious lot of old white dudes, the old Mayor Daley, a woman (!), and this African American guy. I said to myself, "What? When did Chicago have an African American mayor?" I later realized his name was Harold Washington, which this building is named after.
I didn't really put it all together until I heard this incredible story on This American Life a while back during the run up to the 2008 elections. Fortunately for us they archive all of their episodes for FREE. Go listen to it when you have an hour, it will be one of the best hours you've spent in a long time (and if you have two hours, listen to any other episode you find, this show has the potential to change your life). Seeing Obama win came as somewhat of a surprise to me, but in many ways it makes sense after the past eight years. Washington on the other hand was a fireball, he was single (have you ever heard of a single politician?), was up against the mayoral incumbent as well as former mayor Richard J. Daley's son (and later to become mayor himself), and ran for office in a extremely racially divided 1984 Chicago. I cannot do him justice here, so go listen to the story here you'll believe in life so much more.