In my estimation, Chicago has long been a bedrock of Black America. Cultural expression and political activity, Chicago has it in spades–in this new age, Chi is the home of this nation’s largest Black publishing firm, Third World Press.
Chicago is also the home of Curtis Mayfield, the most prolific and insightful of the seventies songwriters. His life was tragically shortened when a gust of wind blew sound equipment onto his body during a performance in New York that left him paralyzed from the neck down.
His infirmary notwithstanding, while flat on his back he recorded a last album that is one of his best ever: 1996’s New World Order, although I remain enthralled by his Viet Nam-era, 1973 album Back To The World, which was both a vow and a theme song for a multitude of us soldiers station overseas.
His music documented an era and demonstrated the resilience and resolve to never give up as long as we are breathing.