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Energy Never Dies: Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago

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From Afro Sheen to Theaster Gates and from Soul Train to Chance the Rapper, Black Chicago draws sustenance from a culture rooted in self-determination, aspiration, and hustle. In Energy Never Dies, Ayana Contreras embarks on a journey to share the implausible success stories and breathtaking achievements of Black Chicago's artists and entrepreneurs. Past and present generations speak with one another, maintaining a vital connection to a beautiful narrative of Black triumph and empowerment that still inspires creativity and pride. Contreras weaves a hidden history from these true stories and the magic released by undervalued cultural artifacts. As she does, the idea that the improbable is always possible emerges as an indestructible Afro-Optimism that binds a people together.

Passionate and enlightening, Energy Never Dies uses the power of storytelling to show how optimism and courage fuel the dreams of Black Chicago.


ISBN-13: 9780252086113

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Publication Date: 12-14-2021

Pages: 192

Product Dimensions: 8.90h x 5.90w x 0.50d

Ayana Contreras is a radio host/producer at Chicago Public Media, a founder/blogger at darkjive.com, and a columnist and reviewer at DownBeat Magazine.