IN THE MIXX: Carolyn Rush Dies At 68, Society of Mannequins Recognizes Best Dressed

IN THE MIXX: Carolyn Rush Dies At 68, Society of Mannequins Recognizes Best Dressed

While Black Chicago was in an uproar over last week’s cover story of Chance the Rapper at a mainstream paper across town, house Republicans are drastically dismantling Obamacare. This move would take away health care from 20 million Americans. The changes are real, and I’m surprised that more people in our community aren’t heated about this disastrous move. Wake up, people!

Our newly appointed, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, made swift moves firing 46 U.S. attorneys held over from the Obama administration. On Monday, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon of the Northern District of Illinois steps down, but not without issuing a letter of recommendations for the next prosecutor.

The current DOJ investigation that revealed problems and discord in the Chicago Police Department is a concern for criminal-justice reform advocates, under Sessions’ administration. The former Alabama attorney general has a track record for advocating law enforcement’s actions — good and bad.

Local Politics

Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans signs an order to provide free legal assistance for arrestees in Chicago police custody.  As it stands, most people who are arrested only receive a lawyer until their first court appearance.  A great deal can occur between being arrested, processing and the bail hearing.

Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans

“I want to ensure that constitutional rights are protected from the earliest point of contact with the criminal-justice system,” Evans said. “The concept of ‘justice’ demands that we take this step to strengthen an individual’s rights and the public’s confidence in the system.”

 We see you and we commend this bold move toward reforming steps in the Cook County Court system. Too many Black men and women are locked down without access to fair representation, which leads to tragic circumstances.

The race for the highest office in Illinois is off to a very early start as gubernatorial candidate and businessman Chris Kennedy makes his bid known. On Tuesday, he met with West Side and western suburbs community and business leaders at Columbus Park.  A couple of weeks ago, J.B. Pritzker met with Black South Side stakeholders addressing concerns in the current administration.  Both men have long-time family investments embedded within the local and national landscape.

Will this be another division in Chicago’s Black community? Will Kennedy have the West Side and Pritzker have the South Side Blacks? This divisive strategy would only give Gov. Bruce Rauner more ammunition in 2018.

Social Scene

Defender’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Dyanna Lewis walks the Society of Mannequins runway.

On Saturday, mixshow DJ and cast member of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop DJ Self will be spinning at the House of Blues Chicago. Chicago favorite DJ, Sean Mac, is also on the bill for this Society of Chicago bash. With a long list of party promoter hosts, including Velvet Lounge owner Kenny Johnson, the young, fly and dope party should be ”off the hinges.”

Across town, the 36th Chicago Music Awards will be recognizing music’s finest at the Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium. This year, the program’s emcees include one of my favorite news broadcasters, Art Norman, and B96’s on-air personality, JNiice. Pack some snacks, because it’s guaranteed to be a long night of live performances and presentations. Let’s continue to support Chicago talent.

Ladies, let’s rock your best glam at the Society of Mannequins event on Sunday, March 19, at the Tuscany Falls Banquet Hall in Mokena, Ill. The event was formed by the Association of Mannequins in 2000 to award scholarships to African-American students in need and recognize women in the community who serve as outstanding role models and leaders in their fields. Each year, as the event grows, the organization selects the 10 “best dressed” Black women of Chicago during Women’s History Month. Our late and beloved columnist, Theresa “Teesee” Fambro-Hooks, was a past loyal member and currently the Defender’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Dyanna Knight Lewis, will be honored at this year’s festivities.

Birthday Shout-Outs

The birthday celebrations are non-stop, with belated wishes to Bean Soup Times Publisher Toure Muhammad, who celebrated on March 15. On March 15, community activist and journalist TJ Crawford and HBCUX Networks General Manager Clint Evans brought in another year. Owner of Flavor Restaurant, Rochelle Kemp, celebrates on March 16. Managing Partner at True Star Magazine, Joi Mitchell, kicks up her heels on March 18. DJ Maurice Reese turns up the music on March 19, and broadcaster Paul J. Buckner celebrates on March 20.

In Memorial

We are saddened at the passing of Mrs. Carolyn Rush, the wife of Illinois U.S. Rep., Bobby L. Rush. Surrounded by family, Mrs. Rush died at the University of Chicago Hospital early Monday morning at 68 from congestive heart failure.

Born May 27, 1949, in Memphis, Tenn., Carolyn Rush moved to Chicago at an early age. She graduated from Hirsch High School and later graduated with high honors with a Bachelor’s of Arts in organizational leadership from Roosevelt University in Chicago. In addition to her work as a community organizer, precinct captain and political strategist in many campaigns, she was also instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement, working to end discrimination in housing and employment.

Mrs. Rush and her husband, Congressman Rush, have a blended family of seven children (one son is deceased), and 11 grandchildren. The couple were married for 36 years. Funeral arrangements are pending, and there is no further information at this time.

An official statement from Congressman Rush:

“I also express my sincerest appreciation to my colleagues in Congress, and to my constituents for understanding why it was so important for me to be with my wife when I also had to be in Washington. Choosing to be with her until the very end was really no choice for me at all. As her husband, it was my duty and as a man of God it was also my responsibility to be by her side,” Rush reflected. “Carolyn never left my side when I was diagnosed with cancer. She’s the reason I’m still here. I will forever miss my friend.”

Then U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Bobby Sengstacke.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Sengstacke

The Chicago Defender and Chicago Defender Charities mourn the loss of renowned photographer and former Defender Editor Robert A. Sengstacke — affectionately known as “Bobby.” On March 7, he died at 73 after a long illness.

In celebration of his life and his numerous contributions, the Defender will have special tribute in next week’s publication.

He is survived by his wife, Jacquelyn Sengstacke, and their two children, Domenic and Jasmine, his first wife, Veela Sengstacke-Gonzales, and their children — Myiti, Omhari and Hasani. Their oldest son, Saief, made his transition in 2009. His daughter-in-law Shantella, his grandchildren, Imani, Malahni and Montrel and a host of loving family members and close friends.

Robert Abbott Sengstacke Memorial Service will take place on Sunday, March 26, at Logan Center of the Arts University of Chicago Campus, located at 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago,  from 3 p.m.-6 p.m..

For updated information, please visit 

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