(EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Richard Steele about being awarded the Studs Terkel Community Media Award and he will automatically tell you, “But I don’t think of myself as a journalist – not like these other journalists.” Funny. That’s exactly what Studs Terkel said. Steele has for decades brought important people together to tell their stories. And in the process, he’s introduced us to a variety of worlds, whether it’s in music, arts, media, politics or the city’s communities. Plus, he’s a reporter and storyteller in his own right. Retired? The man clearly does not know the definition. “The Barber Shop Show,” which he hosts on WBEZ, brings voices and stories to the airwaves that would not otherwise be there. During the current resurgence of the Civil Rights movement, he’s given the city’s Black community a strong voice on WBEZ. There is no doubt about Steele’s stripes as a journalist and a storyteller in the Terkel tradition. The Real Steele is the real deal and Chicago’s stories are richer because of him. ~ Susy Schultz)
Richard Steele has been on Chicago radio since the early 1970s and although he officially retired in October – after 27 years with Chicago Public Radio WBEZ-FM – he continues to be a community voice, hosting “The Barber Shop Show,” a weekly talk show he tapes at Carter’s Barber Shop, 3622 W. Cermak Rd., in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
“On Chicago’s West Side, mothers and children fight addiction side by side” (June 2014)
“Cops and Neighborhoods: Explaining the divide between police and the community” (May 2011)