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Ayana Contreras at the Chicago Public Library

Event Type
Black Metropolis Research Consortium
wifi event
Jan 29, 2022   2:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
University of Illinois Press Events Calendar

Join Chicago Public Library and Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) for an author event with Ayana Contreras, author of Energy Never Dies. There will be a book signing immediately following the discussion.

In Energy Never Dies, 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.

From Afro Sheen to Theaster Gates, from Soul Train to Chance the Rapper, Black Chicago draws sustenance from a culture rooted in self-determination, aspiration and hustle. Passionate and enlightening, Energy Never Dies uses the power of storytelling to show how optimism and courage fuel the dreams of Black Chicago. 

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

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