Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Chosen...The Damned...And Other People

I going through this small book by Dempsey J. Travis. My mother got this book one night and signed it by the south side entrepreneur at a local neighborhood bank. If you get anything out of this book, the man has been around a long time and he's met a lot of people over the course of his long life.

This is a collections essays about people some of whom he's met and some of whom well he mostly likely haven't, but they are important in the history of Chicago, Illinois. For instance there's a chapter on Al Capone, it's likely he never met Capone but his role in Chicago history is certainly undisputed.

Of course Capone isn't the only thug in question ever heard of Ted Roe? He ran the policy racket on the south side. Policy is said to be the forerunner of today's Illinois Lottery. Policy is where like in the lottery people would play the numbers. Another interesting thing about Roe is that he had a nice little row with Sam Giancana a member of the Chicago outfit. The same outfit that counted at one time Al Capone as its leader.

Of course let's stay positive here. He's also writes about playwrights August Wilson & Lorraine Hansberry, singer Marian Anderson, another entrepreneur Thomas Rand, even the long-ago murdered Chicago Alderman from the then racially changing west side, Ben Lewis. There's also a chapter on the old Bronzeville neighborhood likely a different place than it is in the present day.

In any case you may notice in the sidebar that I have a book list. One of the books included therein is The Autobiography of Black Politics. That's one of his books and don't let the title decieve you it's more of a history of black Chicago politics. I would suggest that you check out some of his other books because I know I will.

1 comment:

Joe Zekas said...

Dempsey Travis is a Chicago treasure, and a joy to be around, whether in print or in person.

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