Salute to Black History Month in Chicago! ✊

February is Black History Month, and Chicago, its birthplace, offers a vibrant tapestry of events and experiences to celebrate the rich contributions of the Black community.

Here are some ways you can join the celebration:

Immerse yourself in history:

Bronzeville: Take a self-guided walking tour of Bronzeville, a historic neighborhood renowned for its significant African American figures and landmarks. Visit the Monument to the Great Northern Migration, the Bronzeville Walk of Fame, and the Ida B. Wells-Barnett House.
Chicago History Museum: Attend their Family Event on February 9th for artmaking activities inspired by African American art and stories.
DuSable Museum of African American History: Explore their permanent exhibitions and special programs highlighting Black achievement and culture.

Engage with the arts:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Experience the CSO’s Black History Month celebration featuring diverse composers and artists.
Victory Gardens Theater: See their production of “Pass Over,” a powerful play exploring themes of race and power.
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge: Immerse yourself in the legacy of jazz at this iconic venue, a mainstay of Chicago’s vibrant music scene.

Support local businesses:

Bronzeville Collective: Discover unique handcrafted goods and artwork from Black vendors.
Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery: Browse their curated selection of books by and about Black authors.
Soulful Chicago: Explore their website for a comprehensive list of Black-owned businesses in various industries.

Attend community events:

Black History Month Community Celebration at Taylor Park: Enjoy performances, activities, and vendors celebrating Black culture.
Chicago Public Library Black History Month Programs: Participate in author talks, film screenings, and discussions hosted by different branches.
Black Girls Rock! Chicago: Celebrate and empower young Black women through this inspirational event.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Remember, Black History Month is a time for reflection, education, and action.

7 Ways to Honor Black History Month
  1. Educate Yourself on the Black History in Your Community.
  2. Visit a Black or African-American History Museum.
  3. Learn about Black Music History.
  4. Read Books Written by Black Authors.
  5. Watch Films or Videos by Black Creators.
  6. Support Black-owned Businesses.
  7. Support Influential Black-led Nonprofits.

As we come to the close of 2023, GO BANG! Magazine and myself, Pierre, would like to wish you and yours a HAPPY HOLIDAY season and a prosperous New Year.

Please take care of yourself and your loved ones, and make a POSITIVE difference in someone’s life, each and every day.

Live life to the fullest every day, because tomorrow is not promised to ANY of us!

Dance like no one is looking and for GOD’S sake…. GO BANG!!!!!


Photos courtesy of


One of our own…Chicago’s own…House’s own…Craig Loftis, pioneering DJ, music producer, club owner and one of Frankie Knuckles’ proteges, needs our help. His club, “The Lodge”, one of Chicago’s only southside clubs dedicated to House music, culture and the community, was recently closed by the City of Chicago due to minor licensing violations and structural issues.

He has set up a GO FUND ME account asking the community to help save The Lodge. CLICK HERE

For those that may not be familiar, Craig Loftis has been a DJ in the Chicago music scene since 1979. He realized that music was his true gift from God and he decided to take it further. He attended Columbia College Chicago, where he received a degree in Arts and Entertainment Management and Sound Engineering. In the early years, he redesigned the sound system for Frankie Knuckles’ legendary “Power Plant” and became Knuckles’ personal sound engineer, opening DJ and General Manager for the next four years. In 2000, Loftis started a new promotion company, Loftwerk Productions, working with Loleatta Holloway, Ava Cherry, Sharon Pass, Darryl Pandy, Byron Stingley, Rochelle Flemming, Georgy Porgy and Martha Wash, to name a few.

Craig says, “The Lodge is in need of your help and support. The Lodge is located at 5108 S. Prairie Avenue in Chicago. It’s a Black-owned-and-operated private dance club. The Lodge is a place that welcomes all regardless of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. It’s also a great place to hear HOUSE MUSIC in the city that it was born in… CHICAGO! 

The Lodge

Just recently, the global House community united to save the historic building in Chicago that housed Frankie Knuckles’ “The Warehouse”, which resulted in getting it designated as a national historic landmark. Let’s come together again to save The Lodge, a possible future national historic landmark!!!

GO BANG! Magazine is asking all lovers and supporters of House music and the House culture across the world, to unite and save a historic and important structure in the legacy of House, The Lodge!

Please dig deep and donate whatever you can.  We have a goal of reaching $50,000.


At the time of this writing, The Lodge’s GO FUND ME has reached a little over $2300



Loftwerk Production is the name of the production company that hosts and manages the The Lodge guest memberships events @ The Great Lakes Elks Lodge #43 5108 S. Prairie ,Chicago Il. 60615. The sole purpose of the group is to promote and preserve the rich legacy of Chicago House Music . All like minded individuals are welcome to join. Being a member of Loftwerk Productions (THE LODGE) in no way makes you a member of Great Lakes Elks Lodge #43 . What it does do, is allows you to enter the event hall as a guest of Craig Loftis, member of Great Lakes Elks Lodge #43. THE LODGE IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.. you must be invited by a member of Great Lakes or a guest member of THE LODGE.

Lastly, Craig requests, “To everyone who has donated and that plan to donate, please send me a SHORT VIDEO SNIPPET of what “The Lodge” means to you. Please end it with ‘25 to stay alive’…Support The Lodge.’ You can drop it in my inbox or email it to . Thank you!”





Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.




On Sunday, August 13, 2023, Chicago native and former Soul Train Dancer Brandy Sanders brought her fabulously fun “Disco Ball” to the town where the dance began, CHICAGO! It was held at the posh South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr., from 4pm – 11pm. In the words of the late great Don Cornelius,, “You can bet that it was a stone cold gas!”


Since 2008, “Brandy’s Disco Ball” has celebrated the culture and the spirit of the 70s Disco era through music and fashion. So, this event paid tribute to the legendary entertainers of the era. Each year, the Los Angeles legendary Soul Train Dancers are the honorary guests. But this year, Brandy honored and recognize the original Soul Train Dancers from Chicago, along with many other Chicago born entertainers and celebrities.

Maurice Christian (center) and 2 other members of “The Puppets” receiving their honoree certificates.






























It was a night of fun and an exciting evening of live entertainment, “Best Dressed” Contests, Dance Contests, Games, Raffles, Vendors, the Soul Train Scramble Board and of course, The World Famous “Soul Train Line!!”


Special featured musical guest performers were Remj (a Michael Jackson Tribute Entertainer)


Nu Skool Sings Old School star Mesiyah and Gospel Soul Recording Artist “Lady Leah.” Special celebrity guest and Chicago born actress Cynda Willliams, from “Mo’ Better Blues” and Oprah Winfrey’s “The Wedding” was also in attendance, donning her funky and fabulous 70’s outfit. While the distinguished special guest was the SEIU African American Caucus.










One of the highlights of the event was Brandy’s award presentation to the honorees, which included Chicago original Soul Train Dancers Mable Buckner, Albert Adams, The Puppets (Maurice Christian, Anthony Fairchild, Melvin Shumpert, Willie Fultz, Carlton Knight, Yolanda Cooper, Wayne Ward and the late David Crockett), Captain Sky, Poppin Chuck, Robin Roberts Mister, the late Diane Roberts Mister and Stefon Patterson.





Albert Adams performed a fantastic dance routine and The Puppets put on a spectacular dance performance as well.



Photo courtesy of Darrell Roberts

Also honored were Chicago’s legendary entertainers, including Blues Singer/Songwriter Deitra Farr, entertainment veteran Lee “Mr. Lee” Kirsky, musical group, The Notations (Clifford Curry, Eric Rapier Bryant, Marzette Griffith) and lastly, the Jazz & Blues artist Legendary HolleThee Maxwell, who spoke about her time with Ike Turner and wanted to dispel the talk about Ike being a monster. She stated that he wasn’t like that with her. She also promoted her memoir book titled, “Freebase Ain’t Free.” The book describes Maxwell’s wild ride as Turner’s friend, trusted associate, and closest ally.We cannot forget to mention the special tribute to Chicago House music pioneer, the late Ron Hardy and Chicago Original Soul Train Dancer Adolfo “Shabba Doo” Quinones. The tributes ended with a special dedication to Soul Train Founder, Producer & Host Don Cornelius and Chicago Soul Train Host Clinton Ghent.


This event not only celebrated the Chicago Soul Train dancers, but it also celebrated 50 Years of Hip Hop with a special presentation by Chicago Hip Hop Historian Darrell “Artistic” Roberts of the Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Museum, located in Chicago at 4505 S. Indiana Avenue, 773.414.2006. We got a chance to briefly speak with “Artistic” and he is just an incredible individual filled with great spirit, personality and knowledge.

Once the presentations and performances were over, the lights were dimmed, the music was pumped and the world famous Soul Train Line was formed. Everyone in attendance jumped out of their seats and hit the dance floor. From young teenagers to seasoned seniors, they all showed off their moves while going down the Soul Train line. This lasted for hours, as the line grew longer and longer. Then, the line broke up and all of the dancers just took to the floor and jammed, packing it from wall to wall.




Photos courtesy of Darrell Roberts


Brandy Sanders says “It’s always been my dream to bring my show from LA back to Chicago. It’s going to be a full circle moment for me. Grab your bell bottoms, your platform shoes, your miniskirts and your go-go boots. It’s Gonna Be A Ball Y’all!!!”



Brandy promised this to be one of the most epic and historical events to ever hit Chicago….and IT WAS!!!

We leave you with the famous words of the late Don Cornelius, LOVE, PEACE & SOULLLLLLL!!!

Brandy’s Disco Ball 2022

Video courtesy of Brandy Sanders @



Photo courtesy of Brandy Sanders/Facebook

Special shout out and thanks to Desirae L. Benson, my publicist and PR EXTRORDINAIRE


Please follow photographer Isaiah Jamal Evans and Cali Visuals:

IG @_calivisuals

FB @Cali Visuals / @Isaiah Jamal Evans



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photos courtesy of Chef Michael Daniels

Chef Michael Daniels, founder of MD Creative Blends, grew up eating exotic foods including pheasant, quail, red snapper, orange roughy, mahi mahi and even octopus. “As a child, I would rush home every day to see what my mother had cooked for supper. This caused me to realize that food made people happy and brought them closer at a young age.” Chef Daniels continued, “From entrepreneurs closing a monumental deal to joyous proposals, food has always been an avenue of conversation and togetherness. I’ve always loved the hustle and bustle of a restaurant atmosphere and ambiance.

Chef Daniels studied theatre and film at Ohio State University. He started his journey in culinary arts when he was about thirteen years old, working in downtown Mansfield at a restaurant called the Bendarya Inn as a pitiful dishwasher. His culinary career excelled from that point on working under many awesome chefs.

He left Ohio State and his cousin, who was a hair stylist in the film industry, hooked him up with celebrities like Morgan Freeman and Danny Glover, just to name a few. He soon left for California, leaving his wife and young kids behind. He was hoping to gain work in the film industry. Four days after arriving in California, he found himself on the set of “Lovecraft” (To Cast a Deadly Spell) Director Martin Campbell. “It was very exciting to be on a real movie set with Fred Ward, David Wagner, Julianne Moore, and Clancy Brown, who I later became good friends with. He was from my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio.” Daniels got to work with Clancy again back in Mansfield, Ohio in the feature film “Shawshank Redemption.’ “It was a blast to have him, and Morgan Freeman actually come to my house and drink a beer.

Chef Daniels and actor Danny Glover




He followed the director around the set watching him do his work and the director never said a word about why he was following him around. “One day at lunch he said,I have been seeing you follow me around and see you have a very keen interest in acting and film.'”  He asked him his name and where he was from. He told him, Ohio. “I had only been in California for four days. Hollywood director Martin Campbell said he was going to write “Taft Hardly” into the script for me, so that I’d have a scene in the movie. The scene was me, by myself, reading lines and a stunt.” After this movie, the director hooked him up with Bette Midler and James Caan in the film “For the Boys.”

Chef Daniels and musician Kenny G

Daniels worked on a few more films, but soon he went on hiatus. “I still had my chef background and applied at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Spagos. Hanging out there, I ran into people of all walks of life, even celebrities that I had met in the motion picture business. I soon started getting asked to cater dinner parties and it quickly snowballed.” His resume includes an exciting list of people that he has had the pleasure of serving, many of them celebrities.

Before my dear mother passed away, she told me to follow my dream. I have a God-given talent to cook great food. This culinary career has led me to many great things, and I continue to meet very interesting people.

GO BANG! Magazine: Growing up, who were some of the people that inspired you and why?

Chef Daniels: I was always inspired by my mom and grandmother Lilly Pearl, also my dad and uncle Braxton. They put so much joy into what they were doing as far as food. They were always cooking for others. This made my soul glow, and my family was so loving. So, I wanted to make this happen for myself. Also, I stuck with it and have created some of America’s best dishes.

GO BANG! Magazine: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in culinary arts?

Chef Daniels: I knew this was what I wanted to do because it started getting good to me. I started seeing what greatness my family had cooking. I loved to watch Julia Childs and her French cuisine. It allowed me to take my own flavors and turn them in to French Creole dishes.

GO BANG! Magazine: Prior to pursuing a career as a chef, you were involved in acting and the film industry. What caused you to go on hiatus and do you see yourself ever returning to the acting field?

Chef Daniels: Acting was always a goal. I did plays in grade school, junior high and I studied drama at Malabar high school where I graduated. I went on to Ohio State, studying theatre and film under Professor Larry Evans. I even went to Stanford Canada to see the big theatre festival. I got acquainted with Shakespeare and the Elizabethan and Renaissance theatre.

My cousin Eric Wilson was a hairdresser in the motion picture business and hooked me up with Danny Glover, Morgan Freeman, and Samuel L. Jackson. I went to California and within days was on a motion picture set. This continued for at least six more motion pictures. Then a hiatus came, but I had a chef background, so I traveled over to Beverly Hills and hung out at Wolfgang Pucks Spargo’s and other prominent Los Angeles upscale restaurants. I started seeing celebrities I had met and worked with and soon found myself doing dinner parties. It caught on. I loved acting and would not want to return to it on a grand scale, but would dabble in small stuff that wouldn’t take up too much of my time.

GO BANG! Magazine: What are some of your most favorite dishes to prepare and which are your most popular?

Chef Daniels: I love preparing dishes from all over the world and was greatly inspired by Anthony Bourdain and other world traveling chefs. I always wanted to get away from the basics and explore things “out of the box.” I would create culinary dishes that people around just didn’t do. My French Creole recipes caught on to something amazing. I also love doing authentic Italian, where I was personally trained by Chef Pagani, who showed me everything I needed to know about Italian cuisine. I also slay Asian, Indian, Thai, Southwestern and other world cuisines.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a chef, you are also an entrepreneur.  You’re the owner and founder of MD Creative Blends. Tell our audience about your business and its mission.

Chef Daniels: After everything we have discussed up until now, and after being able to create many fusions of cuisines which started out as a hobby that became a lifelong accelerated career, I decided to start my own business called MD Creative Blends. My company blends a combination of culinary cuisine dishes that were strictly my design and creation. People always ask me for recipes, which I gladly give, but they can never get it right. I guess that comes from studying for years the art of exquisite culinary cuisine. That made it easy for companies to hire me because I am that one stop shop.

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe your style of cooking and what makes your dishes stand out from your competition?

Chef Daniels: My style of cooking consists of everything a person could go through in a day. Let’s think about what that means: love; happiness; disappointment; craziness; and sadness. Now if you combine just some of these feelings, you come out with an out of sight dish. I always cook when I’m feeling some kind of way.

When I go to food shows, other chefs know I’m present because of the crowd. I always have a large eye-catching display with music, food, and the personality of Chef Michael Daniels. I guess you can call it desirable charm. You can’t create charm. It must be a God-given blessing. Now do the math and equations and you come out with MD Creative Blends Culinary. This is why the question is always “How do you get your food to taste this way?” Lol. The answer is, “it’s a blessing from God!

GO BANG! Magazine: If you had the opportunity to experience one of your wildest dreams, what would that dream be, and who would you share it with?

Chef Daniels: My dream is to be able to do this forever in a promised paradise condition, where the best vegetables are grown and the tastiest fruit your palate could ever imagine are found. Free from hurt and pain, everyone eating from a table as far as your eyes could see. People smiling and happy to be sitting there because they were able to taste and eat anything their hearts desired, without worrying about if they could afford it. This is my dream. This dream is known as the taste of true Culinary Arts.

GO BANG! Magazine: If you had the opportunity to serve any individual dead or alive, who would it be, what would you serve, and why would it be so special to serve them.

Chef Daniels: This would be everyone that I loved growing up who helped start me out on this career of culinary arts. My mother and grandmothers told me that I had a God-given gift to cook fine cuisine. This stuck in my heart to this very day. I would love for all my dead loved ones to see what I have accomplished in this field. My hope is for them to be resurrected back to life as healthy human beings and to enjoy life for what it was meant to be. I would serve every dish my family specialized in. Every cake or pie Aunt Pinky Mae has ever tasted. Every biscuit my grandmother Lily Pearl has ever made and every piece of seafood my father has ever caught out of waters from around the world. Yes, I would serve the Culinary Cuisine of Life.

GO BANG! Magazine: I’m sure that your dear mother is proud that you have achieved your dream, as she instructed you to accomplish. What advice would YOU give a young boy or girl, that wanted to pursue a career in the culinary arts?

Chef Daniels: If their little hearts are into it just as mine were, they should attend my cooking class and let me show them from the beginning how to become a culinary chef, where your food will taste fantastic, and people will ask, “How did you get your food to taste like this?” They will know in their hearts, I learned this from a true lover of culinary cuisine.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, what do you want your legacy to be?

Chef Daniels: I want my legacy to be that everyone that learned something from me, they took it to heart, and they treated people with respect and love. That they were able to taste and admire everything I have taught them and that they followed my instructions.

Last but not least, that they too were able to pass along traditions to their families and friends. I would give them a culinary experience that nobody could imagine, with the exception that they were trained by Chef Michael Daniels.

GO BANG! Magazine: Chef Daniels, I want to thank you for granting me this interview. I also want to inform you that now you have been officially BANGED!!! GO BANG!

Chef Daniels: “Thank you, Pierre, for your interview! Stay tuned, things are going to keep growing. I have a great publicist and we are not taking any cheap shots. Remember it’s a culinary adventure!!!”



Desirae L. Benson | ForbesBLK Official MemberEntertainment Publicist | Multimedia Journalist



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, on the nation, and on the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origin, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora. Located in Charleston, S.C., at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf, IAAM honors the untold stories of the African American journey.

Across 9 galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. As a result, the museum will stand as one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. The mission of IAAM is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond.

Its nine distinct galleries will demonstrate how enslaved Africans and free blacks shaped economic, political, and cultural development throughout the nation and beyond, while offering an especially close look at the connection to the South Carolina Lowcountry. These include the Transatlantic Experience, the Atlantic Worlds Gallery, the South Carolina Connections Gallery, the Gullah Geechee Gallery, the American Journeys Gallery, the Carolina Gold Gallery, the
African Roots Gallery, The Theater, and the Special Exhibitions Gallery.

In addition to the galleries, the African Ancestors Memorial Garden sprawls across the museum’s grounds and reflects on the historic significance of Gadsden’s Wharf, one of the many docks in Charleston Harbor at which an estimated 45% of enslaved Africans entered this country. Artistic installations and site objects mark the history and archeology there. This area, which will be free and open to the public, also provides a space for informal and structured gatherings where stories and traditions can once again be shared.

Working to serve and improve equity for Black and African Americans, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history and is thus one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today.

Opening on June 27 of 2023, IAAM has been in the works since 2000 when former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., voiced a need for the museum in his State of the City address. In 2002, a steering committee was formed to explore the development of the museum, and in 2005, Congressman Jim Clyburn became the museum’s first chair of the Board of Directors. As of early 2022, IAAM had raised close to $100 million dollars toward building construction and the foundation of what will comprise the heart of the museum. Since 2021, Dr. Tonya M. Matthews, president and chief executive officer of IAAM, has guided the extensive efforts leading to the museum’s opening and its ongoing efforts to tell the story of the African American journey.

The African Ancestors Memorial Garden, a collection of gardens and artistic installations that sprawls across the IAAM grounds, will be free and open to the public. It will give visitors the opportunity to honor African ancestors and reflect on the historic significance of Gadsden’s Wharf facing the harbor, where some historians estimate more than 45% of enslaved Africans entered this country. Site objects mark the history and archeology there. This area also allows for
informal and programmed gatherings where stories and traditions can once again be shared.

Technology and Educational Features for Visitors:

• Another centerpiece of the museum, the “Atlantic Worlds Gallery,” will be furnished with North America’s first public installation of the latest Crystal LED display in a 32-
foot wide, 7-foot-high configuration provided by Sony. The immersive audio/visual experience is expected to elicit a powerful emotional response from visitors, as it brings
history to life through technology.

• To help visitors explore, the South Carolina Connections Gallery includes an interactive table digital map (supported by Google) that highlights where history happened throughout the state and the Lowcountry.

• The Theater (supported by BMW) will feature a commissioned film installation, The Ummah Chroma, an award-winning film collective. It will serve as both a visitor orientation to the museum experience and a work of art to be screened and distributed internationally. The film will be a visual and an emotional encapsulation of the spirit, resilience, and power of people of African descent.

The International African American Museum (IAAM) features nine galleries housing 11 core exhibits and one changing exhibit that rotates two to three times annually. The museum also publishes a consistent series of digital exhibits on the Google Arts & Culture platform. The core exhibits include over 150 historical objects, over 30 works of art, nearly 50 films and digital interactives, and numerous analog interactives and didactic tools intended to bring history to life and to actively resist global systemic racism. Below are brief descriptions of each gallery and exhibit.

Transatlantic Experience | Transatlantic Experience Exhibit
The Transatlantic Experience provides visitors with a large-scale immersive media experience. Situated as the entry point to the east wing of IAAM, this experience features eight large video screens, which take visitors on a historical journey through hundreds of years of history, from African cultural roots to the tragedy of the Middle Passage and into local and international diaspora scenes and traditions. The four-minute film offers an introductory experience to the themes, emotions, and historical interpretations that visitors will encounter throughout their museum experience.

The Theater Gallery | Film Exhibit
The Theater Gallery, adjacent to the Transatlantic Experience, features films and videos, which provide broad historical context and further orient the visitor to the overall museum experience through a narrative storytelling format. The original film to be featured in this gallery will be produced and co-conceived by the award-winning film collective The Ummah Chroma.

Gullah Geechee Gallery | Gullah Geechee Exhibit
With a focus on the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, the Gullah Geechee Gallery provides an introduction to Gullah Geechee history and culture. Through the exploration of themes including activism, organization, and cultural practices and preservation, this gallery examines the history of the community as well as contemporary issues facing Gullah Geechee communities. Featuring a full-size bateau (boat), a recreated praise house, and multiple media experiences, the Gullah Geechee Gallery provides insight into the dynamic cultural identity of the Gullah Geechee people and endeavors to define and demystify what it means to be Gullah Geechee.

South Carolina Connections Gallery | South Carolina Connections Exhibit
The South Carolina Connections Gallery focuses on African American and African diasporic history that is within and historically interconnected to South Carolina. Featuring key artifacts and an interactive map table powered by Google, the South Carolina Connections Gallery provides insight into known and lesser-known South Carolinians, as well as relevant places and events from early colonial settlement to the present. This gallery tells stories of resistance and achievement, from the many local, national, and international influential African Americans in South Carolina’s history. Significant artifacts in this gallery include tennis rackets belonging to Althea Gibson, the first African American tennis player to compete at the U.S. National Championships, as well as a Waterford Crystal Award, commemorating her Wimbledon singles and doubles championship wins in 1957.

African Roots Gallery | African Roots & African Routes Exhibits
The African Roots Exhibit explores the diverse empires, cultures, historic figures, knowledge systems, and technologies of West and West Central Africa — the areas of origin connected to Africans forced to the Americas. A central media program highlights the dynamic past, present, and future of these regions, and Africa more broadly, from empires and societies to colonies and modern nations. Key artifacts in this exhibit include an 18th century Islamic astrolabe, as well as masks, currency, and jewelry from different West and West Central African ethnolinguistic groups.

The African Routes: Diaspora in the Atlantic World Exhibit illuminates stories that exemplify the influence and movement of people of African descent throughout the Atlantic World over time, from the Transatlantic slave trade to the 21st century. Layered against a collage of images that illustrate the vast breadth and diversity of the African diaspora in the Atlantic World, stories are organized by themes of intellectual connections, spirituality, and cultural expressions presented through a dynamic media program.

Atlantic Worlds Gallery | Atlantic Worlds Exhibit
The Atlantic Worlds Gallery explores the nuanced historical connections throughout the Black Atlantic World. Focusing on the major themes of resistance, revolution, creolization, immigration, and the Middle Passage, this gallery explores the deep interconnectivity between Africa, the Americas, and Europe. A 30-foot, ultra-high-definition video screen on the South wall of the gallery features an original short film that examines the historical connections between Charleston, Barbados, and Sierra Leone. The floor space of the gallery is filled with both historical and contemporary objects, art, and artifacts from throughout the Black Atlantic World.

Carolina Gold Gallery | Carolina Gold & Memories of the Enslaved Exhibits
By examining the roots of the plantation system, the skills and knowledge of Africans from rice growing regions of Africa, and how enslaved Africans and their descendants created community, kinship, and cultivated resistance, the Carolina Gold Exhibit demonstrates the transformative impact of enslaved people who labored on plantations in South Carolina and helped build the lucrative rice industry. A media program describes the knowledge and labor of enslaved people on the rice plantations, illustrating how enslaved West Africans brought significant knowledge and technological contributions to rice cultivation in the region, while also describing the physical and emotional toll it took on those working in tidal rice-growing regions in South Carolina.

The Memories of the Enslaved Exhibit utilizes quotes and insight of formally enslaved people to examine the brutality of chattel slavery. The lived experiences of these men and women demonstrate the importance of memory, violence, family, and culture. Featuring original artifacts including a jug made by enslaved potter Dave “The Potter” Drake and Ashley’s Sack, this exhibit illustrates how remembrance of enslavement was passed down intergenerationally within African American families. The media program in this gallery encourages visitors to form an emotional connection with formerly enslaved people by hearing their stories, their words, and their voices.

American Journeys Gallery | American Journeys Exhibit
The American Journeys Gallery presents key moments, figures, and movements in African American history that are interconnected with South Carolina, showing how they shaped, and were shaped, by local, national, and international cultures, politics, and economies. This gallery is organized into twelve chronological sections: Carolina in the Atlantic World; the Rise of Plantation Slavery; Revolutions; Expanding the United States; Emancipation to Reconstruction; the Return of the Old Order; Color Lines; Mobility, Migrations, and Military Service; South Carolina’s Freedom Struggle; Global Human Rights; Revolts and Transformations; and Movements. Significant artifacts in the gallery include the “Come and Join Us Brothers” lithograph, published by the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments, Cir. 1863; a uniform from Company E, 24th U.S. Infantry Buffalo Soldier regiment formed in 1869; one of two American flags flown over the United States Capitol on April 4, 2018, in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee; along with various items connected to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, both locally and nationally.

Special Exhibitions Gallery
The Special Exhibitions Gallery is a 3000 sq ft. space dedicated to temporary, rotating exhibits. This gallery features a variety of historical, artistic, and immersive exhibits, which expand on the core exhibits. These include traveling shows curated by other institutions, as well as shows originated by IAAM. The first rotating exhibit produced by IAAM will be titled Follow the North Star. Sponsored by Michelin, this exhibit will explore the literal and figurative theme of mobility throughout African American history.

Creative Journeys Exhibit
The Creative Journeys Exhibit consists of artwork, poems, films, and creative materials placed throughout IAAM. These works of art on walls, pedestals, and screens exist in conversation with the historical content of each gallery and provide alternative vantage points for understanding history and the role that creative expression plays in both shaping and reflecting its arc. Existing in sections throughout each gallery, rather than in a dedicated gallery of its own, the Creative Journeys Exhibit features works that are connected visually through color branding, as well as thematically through curatorial text primarily displayed within the American Journeys Gallery.

Digital Exhibits
IAAM utilizes the Google Arts & Culture platform to develop and publish digital exhibits which explore themes and special topics relevant to the museum’s mission. These exhibits feature film, photography, interactive media, and historical interpretation that go beyond the stories and themes explored within the core exhibits in the building. With more stories and historically significant events that could ever fit in a single building, IAAM’s Digital Exhibits platform allows the museum to significantly expand its breadth and reach. In addition to these digital exhibits, the museum’s core collection and physical exhibits will be digitized and made available online.


Tonya M. Matthews, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Dr. Tonya M. Matthews is a thought-leader in institutionalized equity and inclusion frameworks, social entrepreneurship, and the intersectionality of formal and informal education. Her background as both poet and engineer have made her a highly sought-after visioning partner on boards and community building projects, as well as a frequent public speaker and presenter for communities across all ages and venues.

John Anderson
Vice President of Administration and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Anderson joined the International African American Museum in 2021 as vice president and COO. In this role, he is responsible for activating the museum’s visitor experiences, building and site operations, organizational administration, and company culture. Prior to joining IAAM, Anderson served as the Michigan Science Center’s vice president of administration and chief operating officer. Prior to that, he held multiple professional positions with the City of Detroit and Detroit Zoological Society.

Dianne Firment
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Firment joined the International African American Museum in 2019 as director of finance and was promoted to CFO in 2021. In this role she is responsible for propelling the financial growth and success of the museum’s operations.

Malika N. Pryor
Chief Learning and Education Officer
Malika N. Pryor, chief learning and engagement officer for the International African American Museum, provides strategic direction for creating and enhancing dynamic programs that explore the Middle Passage, the African diaspora, and the crucial contributions that African Americans have made to our history and to our modern world. As a member of the senior executive team, Pryor works closely with the CEO to establish partnerships and programs that support and sustain the museum’s mission, including exhibitions, school programs, faith-based initiatives and programs, local and national public programs, and the Center for Family History, a one-of-a-kind
research center that focuses on African American genealogy.

For more information, please visit or call 843-872-5352.



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo courtesy of

Reprinted from email:

Recap video link


Hi Pierre,

Earlier this week, I made a trip home to Chicago to hear firsthand from some of the inspiring young people and leaders who are a part of Obama Foundation programming.

From meeting in a church I first visited as a young man, to joining the MBK Alliance for a timely conversation, check out this recap video of my visit.

On Wednesday, May 10th, I was proud to help the MBK Alliance celebrate four communities that are doing extraordinary work to address the persistent opportunity gaps young boys and men of color face with real, measurable impact.

The cities of Newark, Omaha, Tulsa, and Yonkers, in partnership with organizations on the ground, are making strides to reduce violence, raise graduation rates, and increase school attendance for students of all ages.

With access to education and mentorship in environments free from violence, these young people are getting a fair shot to live up to their fullest potential. This work is urgent and these communities are setting an example for cities across the country.

I also stopped by Lilydale First Baptist Church on the South Side—where my organizing career began—to meet with Pastor Alvin Love, as well as Obama Foundation Scholars ahead of their graduation.

Pastor Love and I shared some advice with these leaders, who are graduating from the University of Chicago and Columbia University, as they prepare to put the knowledge they’ve gained to work in their own communities.

They give me hope for the future. I look forward to seeing what they achieve in the coming years, and I know you probably do, too.

Thanks for being a part of this work.




Photo credit courtesy of:  Tonya Howell


Tonya Howell has been part of the dance music scene since she moved to Chicago in 1996. Back then she followed her favorite DJs from underground rave parties to the late-night clubs of the late 90s and early 2000s and found herself dancing til the sun came up at places like Rednofive, Red Dog, Smart Bar. Tonya fell in love with Deep House and can still dance all night with the right DJ and selection of songs, a booming sound system, and of course, a little room to move. She creates an energy on the dance floor that can get the party started or allow for time to heal and release. Dance has become a kind of therapy for Tonya. It brings her pure joy and happiness – whether she’s dancing all day long at West Fest, the Silver Room Block Party, or Brunchlox or getting out after a long day at work. Tonya is not short on energy to dance and has been told it is a bit contagious – which is what sparked her nickname, Tee Boogie. She brings the boogie everywhere she goes!


Tee Boogie and Abantu Price

Photo courtesy of: Victor Price


Tonya is also a mother of two, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She is currently the Executive Director of Intonation Music, bringing the joy and power of music to young folks on the southside of Chicago. Intonation serves 3rd through 12th grade students in the Greater Bronzeville community and gives them a space to share their voice and explore their many talents through the formation of live bands and through digital music production. She’s passionate about what she does and loves to center music in both her personal and professional lives.

Tonya Howell and House music go hand-in-hand and that will likely never change. It gives her life and purpose, and she shows up again and again to give back to the house music community by spreading positive energy and love. Tonya says, “Chicago is House Music, and House Music is love.”

Manifest magic in all you do! 💫✨

GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised?

Tonya Howell: I was born in Miami, FL but was raised in my parents’ hometown of Englewood, NJ and in a small town near Dayton, OH then right outside of Philly then right outside of Detroit and then eventually landed in Oak Park, IL and Chicago. I moved a lot as a kid but found my home in Chicago!

GO BANG! Magazine: How and when did you get introduced to the House community?

Tonya Howell: After moving to Oak Park during my senior year of high school in 1996, I met some friends who invited me to a rave party. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was eager to get out and hear some music after moving away from the Detroit Punk and Ska scene. As soon as I walked into the enormous warehouse space with hundreds of people and purple and blue and orange lights and banging bass, I immediately fell in love. From that point on, I found a rave party every single weekend and convinced my parents (who were feeling guilty about the move) to let me stay out without a curfew. The parties started at 11pm and I always danced ’til at least noon the next day – rarely leaving the dance floor, allowing the sounds and vibrations from the speakers to fuel me all night long and into the next day.

Photo courtesy of: Marc Monoghan


GO BANG! Magazine: What is it about House that attracts you to it?

Tonya Howell: I feel at home with House Music. House is a feeling that moves through my entire body and does not allow me to sit still. I dance to House when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed and need a release, when I need to heal. I’ve met so many amazing people on the dance floor, and we understand each other deeply through experiencing the music and the energy in a shared space and vibe.

GO BANG! Magazine: As a House dancer, how would you describe your dance style and the feeling that House music gives you?

Photo courtesy of: Yvette Magallon


Tonya Howell: My style of dance is uniquely me and flows with the various styles of House music. I can bounce, I can jack, I can move my feet or swing my hips depending on who is playing and which songs and beats they have chosen. But mostly, I am a SOLO house music dancer. I don’t need a dance partner and I prefer to move around the party spreading positive vibes without having to lead or follow anyone else. When I dance I feel free, I feel pure joy, and I feel energized. I can dance all day or all night when the bass is bumping and the song selection speaks to me.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are some of your favorite House DJs?

Tonya Howell: My all-time favorite House Music DJs who I followed from the rave scene to the clubs to the underground parties and who still keep me on the dance floor today are Jevon Jackson and Diz. I always loved dancing to Gene Farris, Glenn Underground, Frique, Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Gene Hunt, Paul Johnson, and the list goes on. I also find myself moving to the sounds of DJ Lady D, Duane Powell, Julius the Mad Thinker, Osunlade, and many others. I know I am leaving out some favorites because we are absolutely spoiled in Chicago with so many amazing DJs, so many dance floors, and house music events happening literally every single night of the week.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to be a lover of House, you are also an educator and a nonprofit leader in the community. Please describe to our readers your commitment to the youth as the Executive Director of Intonation Music.

Tonya Howell: One of the most important aspects of House Music is that it was born out of pure creativity, innovation, and breaking barriers. House explored new sounds and combined music-making tools in unique ways. House spoke to and included folks who maybe didn’t always fit into the mainstream. The underground became home to many, including myself. My work at Intonation Music allows me to support young people on the southside of Chicago to explore their unique sound, uncover their many talents, and make music in innovative ways. In order to do that, the students first learn the skill of playing instruments and forming a live band. This way they have the foundation that allows them to create and innovate in exciting ways. Our students at Intonation inspire me when they learn a new, challenging skill or when they write their own songs. We provide access to high-quality music instruction and instruments in communities that were stripped of arts programming. We know our students are incredibly talented and deserve the best when it comes to arts education. I feel honored to participate in this important work and lucky that music is at the heart of it.

Photo courtesy of: Obi Soulstar


GO BANG! Magazine: How do you tie music into your professional career, working with the students?

Tonya Howell: I started teaching in Chicago in 2001 and I have always shared my love of House with my students and fellow teachers. We would have dance breaks in the middle of the day, and I would share my favorite songs and mixes with them. This was a great way to let my students into my world and make meaningful connections through music and dance. Now as the Executive Director of a music education nonprofit, I continue to share my love for House with my organization, with the community, and with the students we serve. I have added House Music to start and end our community events and our larger fundraising events as well. The music brings people together and often gets people of all ages up and moving. My passion for youth development, engagement in my community, and my love for House Music are all at the center of my life, both personally and professionally.

GO BANG! Magazine: How has House, the music and the community, changed your life?

Tonya Howell: House gives me life and has been the one constant for me since my first party in ’96. I’ve earned 3 degrees, been married and divorced, raised 2 amazing children, seen relationships come and go, moved throughout the city, traveled across the globe, and House Music has been present and an important part of each adventure and throughout my entire journey.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, what would you like your legacy to be?

Tonya Howell: I have heard so many times, “you are that lady who is always dancing” or ” I saw you dancing at such-and-such event” or “of course, you were out dancing”! I am proud to be called a dancer and my legacy is felt by those who can vibe off of my energy and who I have energized on the dance floor. I’ve been called a fire starter, a spark plug. I’ve been told that my energy is contagious. I hope that all of that energy for dancing inspires my own children, Tzoe Skye and Zia Rey, to find their passions and to always create space for what brings them joy.

Facebook link of Tee Boogie jammin’ in the car with her two children, Tzoe Skye and Zia Rey, listening to a House mix by Jevon Jackson titled “Note to Self.”    LINK:

GO BANG! Magazine: Well Tee Boogie, I want to thank you for granting me this interview. I also want to inform you that you have now officially been BANGED!!! GO BANG!

You can follow Tonya on ALL social media platforms.


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo courtesy of Chief Tamba Taylor 

“US-Based Fashion Designer Carrying On The ‘Blueprint’ of Liberia`s Traditional Chief Donates Precious Gifts To The National Museum”

Reprinted by permission: Originally by Liberian Reporter, Mark B. Newa
Photos courtesy of Smart News Liberia & Chief Tamba Taylor

A young spectacular dancer presents a small-sized drum to Chief Tamba Taylor as the audience looks on.

A US-based fashion designer has identified with the people of Liberia sharing his dream with Lofa County traditional chief, a title that was conferred onto him years ago.

Making a statement at the Blueprint, a souvenir program marking the celebration of the legacy of Chief Tamba Taylor in Monrovia, Chief Dr. Quinton ‘Tamba Taylor’ de`Alexander disclosed that his organization seeks to address some of the challenges facing youth in Liberia. He said his organization, We Dream in Color Foundation, is empowering young Liberians to become entrepreneurs and employers for themselves and others. “The focus of our foundation is empowering the youth to become entrepreneurs. Never dream small, when you dream big, you`ll overcome,” the traditional chief said.

The name Tamba Taylor was conferred onto him in December 2020 on the Providence Island by Liberian Culture Ambassador Julie Endee, Executive Director of the Crusaders for Peace.

During the occasion, that marked the rebirth of Liberia, Dr. de`Alexander chose to give the traditional costume, a short male gown draped in Liberia`s three national colors, back to the country in remembrance of the legacy paid to him, which he referred to as the ‘2020 Blueprint’.

With 30 years of working in the fabric industry, Dr. Quinton Chief Tamba Taylor de`Alexander`s collection, using crystal jewels, has designed clothing for different celebrities in the United States of America and others around the world.

In a comment, Fahn Lepolu, clan chief of Woryan clan in Margibi County encouraged Liberians to work with the people of Margibi to make the clan color stand. “Tradition is very powerful. When you are educated, do not forget about your tradition. Do not be afraid of your home. Nowhere is like home,” the clan chief cautioned.

Chief Tamba Taylor (center in blue apparel) flanked by a cross section of chiefs and elders Zoebanjay drummers.

During the Blueprint, a colorful occasion backed by cultural display from the group Ballet Zoebanjay, Chief Tamba Taylor de`Alexander returned the traditional gown given him by the Crusaders for Peace with a well crystal designed dress for celebrity, to be displayed as relics in the Liberia National Museum.

Ballet Zoebanjay posed with spectacular kid dancers after displaying different dancing styles before the audience as Chief Taylor displayed high in the sky the small Liberian drum. In a few lines from his social media account, Quinton said one early Saturday morning. “I find myself thinking of ways to empower the less fortunate, not in Liberia, but the less fortunate throughout the world. I also find myself thinking of ways to unify all black people to understand the power of unity and support. If we learned to join forces to work together effectively, without jealousy, hate and disrespect within our own race and communities.”

Also commenting, Diamond George Kamu, disclosed that the Blueprint program was intended to display the legacy of this very great man to share in celebrating the life`s achievement of a multi-award-winning self-taught philanthropist, humanitarian and executive producer. “He has over 50 years of experience as a designer and is famously known for drama dresses, dresses designed to display and say so much that every head must turn to admire the incredible work of art,” Mr. Kamu recalled.

Kamu added that among other achievements, Dr. de`Alexander has received numerous local and national awards, including the Fred Hampton Image Award, and the 2011 Mahogany Foundation Image Award for Excellence in costume design.


Ballet Zoebanjay posed with spectacular kid dancers after displaying different dancing styles before the audience as Chief Taylor displayed high in the sky the small Liberian drum. 

Mr. Kamu told the audience that Dr. de`Alexander has devoted his entire professional life to service, serving the needy and poor beyond borders. “We`ve come to celebrate the legacy of an extraordinary man, a fighter, a statesman, a patriot who embodied so much that is best for Liberia.”


Traditional overspread shirt colored red, white and blue, and a crystallized dress for celebrities designed by Chief Tamba Taylor were added to the antiques in the museum.


Back in 2020, the ‘We Dream in Color Foundation’ bestowed the Nelson Mandela Freedom Award to Bill Rogers. This award is given to individuals who have immensely contributed to the positive growth of their communities, societies, and the global community despite all of the difficulties and challenges.

“Chief Taylor had vowed,” George Kamu said, “To change the perception of the image and reputation plastered throughout social media platforms.’ He added that upon his return to the USA, Quinton went straight to work. “Not only enriched with Liberia`s history and becoming one with Paramount Chief Tamba Taylor`s legacy, he began gathering various educational and personal profiles to initiate the upliftment and empowerment of the most overlooked, less fortunate children, and families.”

In the last two years, the Chief delivered more that 50 barrels of food items, school and educational supplies, new clothing, farm supplies, and established a playground in memory of Chief Tamba Taylor. Including supplies to fight COVID, the Chief has also provided school fees and sponsored trips for several less fortunate students to visit the Liberia National Museum.

Following that, Quinton established the Chief Tamba Taylor support group for athletes feeling unheard and seen. Beneficiaries were Belenie Christian Foundation School System, Bill Rogers Youth Foundation, the People of Woryan Town, Women for Positive Actions, Quality Foundation Daycare and Educational Center, Jazhet School and Foundation, the School for Orphans and Deaf Ministry, Wubu Foundation for Deaf Children Development International, Liberia Crusaders for Peace, Armah and Lydia Lansannah Foundation, Dorcas Circle Effort Baptist Church, New Life in Christ Interdenominational Church, and the Liberia National Museum.

Diamond recalled, “When you dream big in colors, nothing can stop you from reaching the unreachable.” “I realize how profound and amazing it was that a man of his status could had accepted a challenge to brace the heat of the COVID, the financial implications that the trip had on him, and the negatives that the internet portrayed about Africa, especially Liberia,” Mr. Kamu said.

The program was attended by town folks from Woryan Town in Margibi County and representatives from beneficiary organizations, officials of the Liberian National Museum, local media, and the traditional ballet group.

The Legacy of Chief Tamba Taylor. The Boy Who Wasn’t Afraid To Dream BIG and DREAM IN COLOR!


Chief Dr. Quinton Tamba Taylor de’ Alexander Contact Information


Facebook: @Quinton de’ Alexander

Instagram: @quinton_dealexander

Twitter: @AlexanderQuinton




Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.