On Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, Hermene Hartman, black media pioneer and founder of N’DIGO magapaper, premiered N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe Profiles of Iconic Chicago African Americans.
The book profiles the Chicagoans who have been on the cutting edge of achievement in areas of media, business, entertainment and politics for the past 30 years. The Chicago centric book presents a contemporary history and another narrative on Black Chicago with cross generational representation of mover and shakers.
Ms. Hartman invited the icons who are profiled in the book to the signing, at the luxury jewelry store Marshall Pierce & Co., 960 N. Michigan Avenue, an for those who are deceased, a surrogate will be on hand to receive their book.
The book, co-authored by David Smallwood, editor of N’DIGO, highlights the significant impact that the 110 men and women have had on the worlds of politics, business, religion, media, sports, entertainment and more in Chicago and around the world.
People featured in the pages include former President Barack Obama; the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali; Quincy Jones, 27-time Grammy Award-winning record producer, composer, arranger and musician; August Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright; and Mae C. Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space.
Other figures in the book include: a rare interview with John Johnson, the late publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines; Jewel Lafontant, a prominent attorney who was the first female Deputy Solicitor General and the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School; Grammy and Academy Award-winning entertainer Jennifer Hudson; John Sengstacke, the long-time publisher of The Chicago Defender. It proved to be his last interview before he passed away in May 1997.
The book is as glittery as the icons it portrays. At 496 pages and seven pounds, this is a coffee table tome to be savored. It includes 300 exclusive photographs that accompany the profiles, which are drawn from the pages ofN’DIGO. The book comes in two editions: Classic, priced at $89; and Deluxe, featuring an encasing of suede plus an e-book download, and priced at $149.
‘The book is a hip, modern-day contemporary narration of people who have delivered an array of progressive, impactful and historic leadership,” Ms. Hartman said. Sadly, they are dispatches from a world that is too-often ignored.
“The stories of our people are important, and mainstream media doesn’t always cover them,” Ms. Hartman said. Indeed, she added, especially at a national level, the focus is on the negative.
“All we talk about nationally now is the gang violence in Chicago,” she said. “This book presents another narrative. You look at these people in N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe, you see another Chicago, which represented a golden era. This Chicago was largely ignored, absent from mainstream media. If we say that newspapers are the first ‘blush’ of history, these people are missing from those pages.”
From engaging in the Civil Rights movement to becoming the founder of Chicago’s leading African-American magapaper, Ms. Hartman has dedicated her career to making sure the black voice in this country is clearly heard. N’DIGO magapaper was established in 1989 to offer insightful commentary about important issues affecting the blackcommunity. N’DIGO features news profiles, business information, entertainment, education and other contemporary topics that reflect the interests of Chicago’s black middle class and its wealthiest citizens.
Ms. Hartman has already made two appearances at Mariano’s Bronzeville, 3857 S. Martin Luther King Drive; but she will appearing at the Harlem Fine Arts Show on November 16 at Malcolm X College and on November 26 at Trinity United Church of Christ, 440 West 95th Street.
N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe will be available in bookstores, but also can be purchased via ndigolegacybook.com.
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