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OUR HISTORIAN

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 life long 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 institutions such as the University of Chicago, LaSalle University (PA), Northwestern University, and a number of partners of the Chicago Community Colleges network. Dilla has also given lessons to corporate groups such as: Meta (Facebook); Microsoft; Google; Stork; Shriver Center of Poverty Law; & Chicago Cares. Dilla most recently represented Chicago in Amsterdam for Bloomberg's City Labs. He is a member of the Black Chicago History Initiate Steering Committee and a proud partner of the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, and the Chicago Fire.

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Photo credit: Manuel Martinez/WBEZ