The summer has been heating things up for Chi-Town, but nothing beats a special event hosted in our South Side community. AT&T invited True Star to their Englewood store for an exclusive panel discussion featuring industry creatives Lena Waithe and Bobby Hundreds. This was an amazing way to kick-off a good time with food, music, dancing and major surprises at the end of it all.
Most people know Waithe as an actress from the movie Ready Player One or the TV series of “Dear White People”. She is also the creator and co-writer for the hit Showtime series “The Chi” and the executive producer of the BET dramedy “Boomerang”. Waithe, a South Side native and Columbia College Chicago alum, is also credited for writing and producing the upcoming drama Queen & Slim; and has a new acting role on season 3 of “Westworld”. Bobby Hundreds is co-founder of the fashion label The Hundreds, and author of This Is Not A T-Shirt, a book about brand building.
The two talked about their collab on The Hundreds, featuring exclusive gear like hats, T-shirts and letterman jackets. After that, the two got into the topic of issues facing Chicago youth. Waithe mentioned that many young people have big dreams, but don’t have the resources or access to turn them into reality. Hundreds gave advice to the crowd about how it’s important to practice patience when going for your goals; that not everything happens quickly, and don’t get caught up in the success of others.
In the end, I had my chance to ask Waithe what her biggest challenge is as a creative and how she overcomes that. Her answer to all of us was that she had to accept not having creative control on every project and not caring about others’ opinions sometimes.
Then came the big surprises. Each person at the event was gifted a copy of Hundred’s book, This Is Not A T-Shirt. Then, on behalf of AT&T, Waithe announced that all in attendance were going home with two weekend passes to the first ever ComplexCon Chicago! Everyone was so excited that they would be a part of a major event geared toward creatives.
Let’s wrap with my favorite quote from Waithe that night. “Enjoy the race. Don’t be so focused on the finish line.”
By Marilyn Koonce, Northern Illinois University Alumna