People in the news

NYC concert lineup slated

NEW YORK (AP) — Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Jennifer Hudson will headline an August concert in Central Park, marking the city’s comeback from the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

“It is going to be a great moment for the city, marking our rebirth, marking our comeback, and it’s going to be one of the greatest Central Park concerts in history,” the mayor said at a virtual news briefing

De Blasio announced last month that producer Clive Davis would recruit an all-star lineup for a Central Park concert in August. No exact date has been announced.

More performers will be announced in the coming weeks, de Blasio said.

The concert will come 30 years after Simon’s memorable Aug. 15, 1991 Central Park concert, which was recorded and released as a live album and concert film.

Springsteen’s return to Broadway last weekend was itself a step in the city’s recovery from the pandemic. “He is beloved in New York City in an extraordinary way even though he happens to come from New Jersey — no one’s perfect,” de Blasio said.

The mayor said Hudson, an Oscar and Grammy winner is “someone who captures the grit and determination that we’re all feeling as we fight through this crisis.”

Princes William, Harry unveil Diana’s statue

LONDON (AP) — Princes William and Harry unveiled a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday Thursday in a small — and brief — ceremony at London’s Kensington Palace.

Diana’s family joined the two brothers for the ceremony at the palace’s Sunken Garden, a place in which the princess once found solace. It was the first time the brothers have appeared in public together since the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip.

The brothers later issued a joint statement in which they described their mother’s strength and character as “qualities that made her a force for good around the world.”

“Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy,” they said.

Monument unveiled to Ida B. Wells

CHICAGO (AP) — A monument to journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett was unveiled Wednesday in Chicago.

Officially called The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument, the commemoration created by sculptor Richard Hunt was dedicated in the South Side neighborhood where Wells lived out her life.

The monument has three bronze columns that support intertwined bronze sheets twisted into coils and spirals. One observer had trouble describing the abstraction at the top of the monument, asking if it was a hat or a crown of thorns. She was more certain about the columns.

“It is interesting,” spectator Roberta Trotter told the Chicago Tribune. “I just want to know what the artist thinks before I say more. But I do see a strong base. That, I understand — Ida was a strong woman.”

Granddaughter Michelle Duster said traditional busts and statues of Wells were considered, but she and others pushing for the monument preferred something interpretive, which she said projects Wells better than the literal.

The monument to Wells was financed by contributions made during a fundraising campaign over several years led by Duster. It sits on the site of the Ida B. Wells Homes, a housing project constructed in the 1930s, torn down in 2011 and replaced with market rate and subsidized housing.

“Hopefully it becomes a point of pride to Bronzeville, the kind of thing people want to serve as a backdrop to their lives here,” Duster said. “That’s what I want — a gathering spot.”

Congress Parkway, a major street in Chicago’s business district, was renamed for Wells in 2019.

Wells, who was born a slave in 1862 in Mississippi, was a 30-year-old newspaper editor in Memphis, Tennessee, when she began her campaign against lynching. Wells’ crusade was prompted by the 1892 lynching of a man whose first child was her godchild. She traveled the South over several months interviewing witnesses and reading reports of similar events, which she published in the newspaper she co-owned and edited, The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

In 2020, Wells was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the lynching of African Americans.

Although she was threatened frequently because of her work, she helped to found several civil rights organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Association of Colored Women.

Wells died of kidney disease on March 25, 1931, at 68.

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