The Frunchroom is about re-centering the South Side narrative around the people who make it great. And Shermann “Dilla” Thomas knows what makes Chicago and the South Side great.
Chicago historian Dilla, as he is affectionately called, is a fascinating blend of modern historian, cultural worker, and public employee.
Dilla has become a Chicago social media sensation by going viral on Tiktok. His 60-second history videos on everything Chicago have been viewed over 8 million times, and he has amassed a following of 150K followers across all social media platforms. Dilla has been featured on all manner of Chicago media and has also appeared nationally on both The Today Show and The Kelly Clarkson Show. Dilla is a proud lifelong resident of Chicago’s South Side. He lives by the saying that everything dope about America comes from Chicago.
Through the power of storytelling, Dilla is helping to change the narrative locally and nationally about Chicago’s value to the world. He has been named 2022 Chicago Tourism Ambassador of the Year by Choose Chicago, the tourism agency of the city. He is a recipient of the prestigious Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, as well as a Studs Terkel Uplifting Voices recipient. Dilla was voted 2021 best Chicago Twitter and best Chicago Tiktok pages by Chicago Reader magazine. He has presented Chicago history lessons and lectures to major institutions, corporate groups, and represented Chicago around the world. He is also a member of the Black Chicago History Initiate Steering Committee.
See Dilla and our other readers in The Frunchroom this Thursday at 730pm at Beverly Arts Center. Brought to you by the Beverly Area Arts Alliance. A $5 donation is requested at the door, which benefits the Alliance and the BAC.
Read more about this edition of The Frunchroom here.