I just love working on this story. A celebration in a Chicago neighborhood that has too many bad headlines.
From Lolly Bowean’s story in the Tribune today:
"Latinos have quinceaneras. Jews have bar and bat mitzvahs. Debutantes have cotillions. But in Chicago’s African-American community, a burgeoning, unique ritual now accompanies the annual spring prom: a flamboyant pre-event gathering that many simply call "the send-off."
"Here, friends, family, community leaders and residents greet and celebrate teenagers just before they depart for their school-sponsored parties. Mounting in popularity — and extravagance — in recent years, in most cases the send-offs are bigger and more important than the prom. Especially to the adults."
There’s also video of the event HERE. I hope to keep working on this story and have more to share at the end of prom season in a few weeks. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)