Izola White, a cultural icon, teaches painful lesson

The final years of Izola White highlight the toll dementia is taking on the African-American community.

White, 96, died on Tuesday.

Her namesake soul food restaurant was an institution on the South Side before it was forced to close in 2010.

“Izola’s Restaurant” opened in the ’50s in Chatham, where African-Americans were building a stronghold for the black middle class.

Things fell apart when White was diagnosed with dementia and was no longer able to run the business.


In 2012, DeWayne Mason, then a Chicago police officer, tried to raise money to keep White from losing her home and moving to a nursing home, DNAinfo reported.

But too few people stepped up to donate the sums needed to rescue White, and the public guardian had to step in.

It was heartbreaking.


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