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Bronzeville Welcomes NATO Summit As Good For Business

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The sign for Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood. (CBS)

The sign for Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. (CBS)

Jim Williams (CBS) Jim Williams
Jim Williams, a native Chicagoan, co-anchors the CBS 2 Chicago Wee...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Re-routed traffic, closed streets, security concerns. For many Chicagoans, the NATO summit could be a giant headache.

But as CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports, that’s not the feeling in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

Right on the border of McCormick Place, there is an historic neighborhood that has a simple message for those attending the NATO summit.

“We’re happy it’s here because it introduces the south lakefront community as an international tourism destination,” says Harold Lucas, CEO of the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council.

He sees the NATO summit as a chance to showcase one of the most important black neighborhoods in the country, and he wants the NATO participants to know the Bronzeville visitor center is the perfect place to host a reception.

Down the street on King Drive, Mississippi Rick’s and Munchies will welcome NATO to sample its enticing menu.

And that’s the just one of the many Bronzeville restaurants and businesses that could benefit from a gathering that people in other parts of the city may be dreading.

“Come to Bronzeville if you want to experience the African-American cultural experience in the south lakefront region of Chicago,” Lucas says.

People in Bronzeville say NATO participants who visit there will understand important American history, the black experience and the place where President of the United States learned his first political lessons.

Bronzeville will be one of the highlighted neighborhoods at the NATO media center at McCormick Place.

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