WIIT Black History Month Spotlights

Happy Black History Month! Help us celebrate the accomplishments 

Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco is the professional name of award winning rapper and producer Wasalu Jaco. Growing up in the West Side of Chicago, Lupe Fiasco got into rapping from an early age, rapping poems as early as 8th grade. He rejected the vulgarity of hip hop at the time and is credited as being one of the pioneers of “concious hip hop”, focusing on social issues he experienced in his own life and beyond. His debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor demonstrates just that; with odes to Chicago Food and Liquor stores, Lupe digs into themes of good and evil. Since this initial release, Fiasco has gone onto release eight critically acclaimed albums as well as seven mixtapes, seven soundtrack albums and a multitude of singles. Aside from music, he has many philanthropic campaigns, giving back to the Chicago community. These days, you can find him as a visiting professor at MIT teaching a variety of Digital Media classes.


Jack L. Cooper

Jack L. Cooper is widely referred to as the “patriarch of Black radio”. While he was born in Nashville, Tennessee, he grew up bouncing around Cincinnati, Memphis, and Indianapolis making a name for himself as a performer before landing in Chicago in the 1920s. His first major show, “The All-Negro Hour”, premiered on WSBC in 1929. Initially the show was heavily comedy based, due to Cooper’s background in theater and sketch comedy. Coopers audience grew and he began spening more and more time as a disc jockey at WSBC. He popularized playing records over the air, using his own phograph. By the 1940s, Cooper was all over Chicago’s airwaves, programming close to 40 hours of content for black and white audiences alike. However, he remained focused on providing content for Chicago’s black population, often featuring other African American presenters and reporting on items such as the Negro Baseball League. Cooper’s hard work in the face of oppression and adversity laid the groundwork for generation of radio personalities and the airwaves are all the better for it. 

Margaret T. Burroughs

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs is most well known for being “the First Lady of the African American Art Movement”. An artist herself, Margaret was primarily a writer and printmaker. Much of her work focused on the experience of Black children. Some of her more famous poetry collections include ‘What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?’ and ‘Africa, My Africa!’. Margaret did much for African American art beyond just creating her own. In 1961, she and her husband started what is now the DuSable Museum of African American History in their living room as the Ebony Museum. The museum displayed exclusively African American art and was a revolutionary space for Black artists in Chicago. She also founded the South Side Community Art Center in Bronzeville which still serves artists and students here on the south side. Margaret was heavily recognized for all the work she did for the art community including the President’s Humanitarian Award from Gerald Ford and a Legends and Legacy Award from the Art Institue of Chicago. Margaret passed away in 2010 but her legacy lives on through Black artists everywhere.

Fatimah Nyeema Warner

Noname performs a Tiny Desk concert Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Noname, originally named Fatimah Nyeema Warner, emerged as a prominent figure in the hip-hop scene, hailing from the vibrant city of Chicago. Her journey began with humble roots, attending De La Salle Institute in the Bridgeport neighborhood, where her passion for poetry and rap started to flourish. Collaborating with artists like Chance the Rapper, Noname’s talent soon caught the attention of the music world. In 2016, she made waves with her debut mixtape, “Telefone,” acclaimed for its introspective lyricism and soulful production. The success of “Telefone” paved the way for her debut studio album, “Room 25,” released in 2018, which further solidified her reputation as a visionary artist. Beyond music, Noname is a vocal advocate for social justice, using her platform to address issues of race, identity, and politics. In 2019, she founded the Noname Book Club, dedicated to amplifying the voices of authors of color and fostering community discussions. With her thought-provoking verses and unwavering authenticity, Noname continues to captivate audiences worldwide, challenging societal norms and leaving a lasting impact on the music industry.

The talented WIIT DJs below have graciously taken the time to share with us what Black History month means to them. While we may be taking this month to highlight them, we are grateful every day for their contributions to our station and their respective communities.

Roxanne Dubose

How long have you been at WIIT?

3 years

What does Black History Month Mean to you? 

To me, Black History Month is an opportunity to… REMEMBER. RELATE. RECOGNIZE. RECTIFY. 

REMEMBER the struggles and accomplishments of the past. Attempt to RELATE to individuals as individuals (with an array of varying qualities, skills, characteristics, values, and experiences) today. RECOGNIZE that there’s much yet to be done (internally/externally, schools, workplace, administration, neighborhoods, government, etc.) in the future. And resolve to be a catalyst and/or resource for RECTIFICATION!


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