N’DIGO Book Profiles Chicago’s Historic Black Icons from a Golden Era

N’DIGO Book Profiles Chicago’s Historic Black Icons from a Golden Era

(CHICAGO) - Hermene Hartman, black media pioneer and founder of N’DIGO magapaper, and David Smallwood, editor of N’DIGO, proudly announced the release of a book based on the publication’s 30 years of chronicling black achievement. The book, titled N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe Profiles of Iconic Chicago African Americans, is set for release this fall and will focus on the type of influence black entrepreneurs, politicos, sports icons, ministers, media personalities, entertainers and more, have had on Chicago.

From engaging in the Civil Rights movement, to becoming the founder of Chicago’s leading African-American magapaper, Hartman has dedicated her career to making sure the black voice in this country does not go unheard. N’DIGO magapaper was established in 1989 to offer insightful commentary about important issues affecting the black community. N’DIGO features news profiles, business information, entertainment, education and other contemporary topics that reflect the interests of Chicago’s black middle class and its wealthiest citizens.

Now, Hartman has shifted her focus and made it known that she does not want the efforts of the iconic black figures featured in her book to be forgotten. “Mainstream media so often has locked out the black community,” said Hartman. “The stories of our people are important and mainstream media doesn’t always cover them.”

In early March, Hartman teased a few of the figures that would be featured in her book, such as the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, 27-time Grammy Award-Winning record producer, composer, arranger and musician Quincy Jones, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright August Wilson and Mae C. Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space.

“How can I have a book like N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe without featuring the first black President of the United States,” she said. “Yes, we actually interviewed Barack Obama before he even ran for the U.S. Senate. It was his first major profile.”

Hartman also spoke about featuring the president of Ariel Investments and the current Chair of the Board of Directors of DreamWorks Animation, Mellody Hobson. “The success of Mellody is that she had one job from internship to the presidency of her company,” said Hartman. “What a success story. She was very motivated and very intent on moving high up the corporate ladder. From Ariel’s research papers, we asked her to write financial advice columns for N’DIGO.”

Other figures in the book include John Johnson, the late publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, Jewel Lafontant, a prominent attorney who was the first female Deputy Solicitor General and the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School, Grammy and Academy Award-winning entertainer Jennifer Hudson, and John Sengstacke, the long-time publisher of The Chicago Defender. It proved to be his last interview.

According to Hartman, the book had been a conceptual idea for the past few years and began production about six months ago. What sparked her to follow through with the idea was seeing the constant negativity surrounding news coverage of Chicago’s black communities. “All we talk about nationally now is the gang violence in Chicago,” she said. “This book presents another narrative. You look at these people in N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe, you see another Chicago, which represented a golden era. This Chicago was largely ignored, absent from mainstream media. If we say that newspapers are the first ‘blush’ of history, these people are missing from those pages.”

N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe is a beautiful coffee table book unlike any other with exclusive pictures and stories of about 110 black icons. The profiles are cover stories from the pages of N’DIGO.

Two editions of the book will be released:

The premium edition - Priced at $89.
A special edition, which is the deluxe edition, sporting a suede encasing with gilded edges - Priced at $159.


Hartman urges people to view N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe in the larger perspective instead of individual accounts of successful black people. “Chicago has a richness,” she said. “Chicago is a mecca for business, leadership, politics, education and for churches. Black people have been dynamic socially, culturally and politically through the media and through entrepreneurship. The book is a hip, modern, contemporary history of people who have been progressive, impactful and historic.”

Hartman added, “This is a book exactly like no other. What makes it so special is it is cross-generational and all of these people demonstrate success in a variety of ways."

N’DIGO LEGACY: Black Luxe will be available in bookstores, but can be purchased exclusively via ndigolegacybook.com. For additional information on the book, or to arrange an interview with Ms. Hartman, contact Jerry Thomas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or 312-285-5166.

# # #

This press release has been viewed 371 times on PR Buzz.