If you're interested in finding African-American artifacts that you can actually look at and touch in East Central Illinois museums, don't get your hopes up. There aren't very many.
That doesn't mean that there isn't plenty of information about the blacks who settled in this part of Illinois.
What follows are a few of the offerings available locally:
Across Champaign and Urbana earlier this month, schools celebrated National African-American Parent Involvement Day by welcoming parents to classes, introducing them to school staff members and having students perform for them.
At Champaign Central High School, parents were welcomed into classes and the school hosted a lunch for them.
In 1986, a 16-year-old Centennial High School student sells shoes at Sears, Roebuck & Co. in Champaign. He is hired with some reluctance from store managers — there aren't too many high school kids working there, but they give him a shot.
CHAMPAIGN — When local McDonald's franchisee Dwight Miller looks back at the role models of his youth, Muhammad Ali stands out as the greatest.
"He was a strong man," Miller said of the now-retired heavyweight boxing champion. "He didn't care what other people thought. He wanted to do his own thing."
Miller noted that Ali had "an issue with the draft."
As a high-level human resources director, University of Illinois graduate Joyce Ingram keeps in mind the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King:
"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
DANVILLE — By the seventh grade, Tim Leek Sr. knew he wanted to take over the family funeral business someday.
An essay assignment on careers made him realize he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps.
A little more than 100 years ago — on Dec. 29, 1911 — one of the African-American pioneers of Champaign County died at the age of 75. At the time of his death, George W. Smith left an estate valued at more than $116,000 which, according to the Champaign Daily Gazette, was believed to be "the most valuable one ever left by a colored man in this state."
CHAMPAIGN — The Campustown fire that forced the closure of two restaurants and a clothing store last spring gave Bruce Hink another chance to think.
And think he did, about how he would re-create Mia Za's, the Italian-themed restaurant he opened in 2000 at 629 E. Green St., C.
URBANA — Every Tuesday evening, students file into a classroom at Wohlers Hall for a business law course on U.S. corporate governance called "Ultimate Leadership."
Their professor? University of Illinois President Emeritus B. Joseph White, who held the university's top job from 2005 to 2009.
Last week, we covered frequently asked questions about coupon overage.
This week, we'll tackle another dilemma for beginners: the difference between manufacturer coupons and store coupons.
I have a $1 coupon for a brand of cheese. The coupon has the supermarket's logo on it.