V103 and Wintrust Salute Chicago's Black History Makers

Born Yvette Marie Stevens into an artistic, bohemian household in Chicago. She became known as Chaka Khan. Raised in Hyde Park she was introduced to music, art and activism at an early age. In the early 70s Chaka catapulted to fame as the frontwoman for the Chicago Funk Band Rufus with songs like “Tell me something Good.” Following Rufus she launched a successful solo career and became known as the Queen of Funk. Chaka has won ten Grammy Awards sold 70 million records and is ranked 17th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll list.

Chicago Black History Maker Chaka Khan

From the rough streets of Englewood on Chicago’s Southside to the hallowed halls of the financial district in New York, Jim Reynolds knows how to navigate wall street currencies. A holder of an MBA from Northwestern University he is co-founder of Loop Capital Markets, Reynolds has built the largest Black owned investment firm in the United States with offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC and many more. Dedicated to expanding Blacks in the investment industry, Reynolds’ motto is "To provide client service beyond expectations." To that end he has delivered.

Chicago Black History Maker Jim Reynolds

Some Chicagoans say the Westside is the best side. You won’t get an argument from Comedian and actor Lil Rel Howrey. Milton "Lil Rel" Howery Jr. attended Providence St. Mel School then transferred to Crane High School. While in high school he realized he had a talent for standup comedy and acting. He gained international fame for his portrayal TSA officer Rod Williams in the blockbuster horror film Get Out. Given his recent successes now everyone want’s Lil Rel Howrey in their project.  

Chicago Black History Maker Milton Lil Rel Howery

It’s difficult to blaze your own trail when you’re the son of trailblazing Civil Rights Leader Jesse Jackson, Sr. But in fact Jonathan Luther Jackson had done just that. His godfather was Martin Luther King Jr., from whom Jackson gets his middle name Luther. An accomplished businessman and civil rights leader Jackson holds a Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University. This January Congressman Jackson was sworn in as the U.S. representative for Illinois's 1st congressional district.

Chicago Black History Maker Jonathan L. Jackson  

Given his talents,  activism, and fashion savvy there was no chance that Chance the Rapper wouldn’t make it big. Raised in Chatham by a politically active household. Chancellor Johnathan Bennett, began displaying his songwriting and rapping skills as a youth.  The Jones College Prep grad gained national attention with his second mixtape, Acid Rap in 2013. His third mixtape, Coloring Book garnered three Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album. Always committed to making a positive impact in his community, Chance co-created SocialWorks a nonprofit dedicated to creating youth programs for residents of Chicago.

Chicago Black History Maker Chance the Rapper

He is one of the most respected Illinois politicians, and after more than 70 years of service to community and country decided to rest a little. We’re speaking of the incomparable Jesse White. Born in Alton and raised in Chicago. White attended Alabama State University on a sports scholarship. He served in the Army, played minor league baseball and was a Chicago public school teacher. As a politician White served in the Illinois House, was Cook County Recorder of Deeds and as the 37th Illinois Secretary of State from 1999 to 2023. The longest-serving person to hold that office. In 1959, White founded the Jesse White Tumblers which has no plans on retiring.

Chicago Black History Maker Jesse White

Actress, activist, producer, screenwriter. When it comes to entertainment Chicago Born Lena Waithe does it all. The Columbia College grad is the creator of The Chi, and Boomerang and Twenties on BET. She also wrote and is the executive producer of the horror anthology series Them.  On the big screen she wrote and produced the crime drama Queen and Slim. Waithe showed her acting chops in the Netflix series Master of None. And she is the first African-American woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Waithe was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2018.

Chicago Black History Maker Lena Waithe

Why do one thing when you can do them all well is a philosophy that fits actress, comedian, author, broadcaster, and television personality Sherri Shepherd. Born and raised in Chicago, Sherri got her start acting in television and had roles in numerous films. She received rave reviews on The Jamie Foxx Show and Less than Perfect. What she was perfect for is TV hosting.  From the view to the Daytime Emmys. Unafraid to bear her private life with the public, Sherri has authored several books. She is the current host of the syndicated Sherri show.

Chicago Black History Maker Sherri Shephard