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Street Jaxkson Band brings blues to Lansing Library to start Black History Month

LANSING, Ill. (February 5, 2024) – Street Jaxkson Band, a blues, rock, and jazz group local to the Chicagoland area performed “Mississippi Boy,” “You Never Should’ve Done It,” “Stand By Me,” and other popular blues tunes on Friday at the Lansing Public Library to kick off Black History Month.

The blues and Black history

Street Jaxkson Band has been performing together for 14 years after the lead singer, Roo Jaxkson, moved from Georgia to Chicago. The band was featured for this year’s African American History Month concert at the Lansing Public Library because of its connection to the genre of blues.

“African Americans is the root of blues.” Jaxkson said.

African Americans from the south established the genre in the time during and following the Civil War.

On Friday, Jaxkson performed “You Got Me Running,” which is also known as “Baby What You Want Me to Do.” First performed by Jimmy Reed and later covered by Elvis Presley, the song was written about getting away from the south, said Jaxkson.

“I don’t like singing that song,” Jaxkson said, but he sings it because it relates to his African American heritage.

Friday’s concert was the second annual Black History Month concert at the Lansing Public Library.

blues
A window at the Lansing Library includes information on Black history pioneers. (Photo: Imani Muhammad)

Street Jaxkson Band performance

Andrialia Hardrick, a youth associate at the library, said she came out for the Black History Month concert because she appreciates how the Lansing Public Library makes an effort to be inclusive.

“The Lansing Public Library hosts events not just for Black History Month, but for other races and cultures,” she said.

Hardrick said that in the three years she’s worked for the Library, she doesn’t remember an event as large as Friday’s for Black History month.

“[There were] over 100 people upstairs,” Hardrick said.

Hardrick’s favorite song Friday was a remix between “Stay By Me” and “Beautiful Girl.”

Street Jaxkson Band performed a song line-up ranging from older to newer songs touching both the younger and older audience members.

Library@Nite

Debbie Walter and Andrew Harootunian, members of the Outreach Department at the Lansing Public Library, explained that the Black History Month celebration was a collaboration with a pre-existing program called “Library@Nite.” The event program is designed to help adults, who are busy throughout the day, get the chance to come to the library at a later time.

The Street Jaxkson Band was a perfect fit for the Black History Month event because Walter and Harootunian wanted a fun and exciting event for their guests.

“After watching videos of their performances all around Chicago Downtown they were really amazing — dancing and energetic,” Harootunian said.

The Lansing Public Library is hosting more events for Black History Month, including a screening of the film The Color Purple (2023) on February 23.

The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue.

Imani Muhammad
Imani Muhammad
Imani Muhammad is completing her Masters at Newhouse School of Public Communications. She has been published in both poetry and journalistic settings and is dedicated to bringing truthful and captivating stories to her audience.

1 COMMENT

  1. The article by Ms Imani Muhammad was very informative and well written. Would like to hear more from this author.

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