Tag Archives: Black Slang

Hey, White Girl! Susan Gregory’s Chicago Story

IMG_1438

The intersection of race and class. In Chicago. In the late 1960s.  That’s the backdrop of a memoir (rather cheekily) titled “Hey, White Girl!” written by Susan Gregory (Norton, 1970). 

In the book, teenage Susan transfers from well-heeled, suburban New Trier High School to attend infamous-even-then Marshall High School on Chicago’s West Side for her senior year.

What’s notable about this book is that save certain specificities (slang, style of dress, et al), the story would probably play out identically today: that’s how little race and class lines have shifted since then in the Windy City.

There are many notable moments in the book: some poignant, some funny, some perfect slices of Sixties Chicago.

“What jam can I mash on you?” the disc jockey asked… The words, the phrases were endless.  But I learned them, and slowly they became my own…

…A “humbug” was a fight. A “box” was a record player.  “The hawk” referred to the wind… Marshall and WVON helped me build my vocabulary.   — from Hey, White Girl

Find a copy, if you dare.  Definitely worth the search.  It’s wild.


Black Slang at the Shrine… and it’s all good

shrinelogocoreygroupChicago’s own young, vivrant, soulful, jazz ensemble Black Slang (featuring Corey Wilkes on trumpet and Yaw on vocals) performed this past weekend at new South Loop Venue The Shrine.  The group draws as much influence from Herbie Hancock as Mos Def, and pushes the boundaries of musical genres til barely a shred remain.  Black Slang has held a residency at Andy’s for over a year now, and I was excited to see the group on the new, state of the art stage of The Shrine. If you have yet to visit the new nightclub, highlights include:  cocktails named after dictators, like the Noriega, Sadat, and Qaddafi; and the Shrine Dancers (an in-house troupe).
Black Slang is:

vocalz: Yaw
trumpet: Corey Wilkes
bass: Junius Paul
keyz: William Kurk
mC: Phenom

You can catch Black Slang this Friday and Saturday Night (the 19th & 20th) at:

Location:
Andy’s Jazz Club
Street:
11 E. Hubbard
City/Town:
Chicago, IL

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers