Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood in the city’s South Side recently honored Bernie Mac with a street sign bearing the late comedian’s name.
According to the Associated Press, a street-renaming ceremony was held on Feb. 28 on a corner near the home where Mac was raised. Nearly 200 people, including Mac’s relatives and the Rev. Jesse Jackson attended the event.
“It is just a day full of joy. I’m saying how befitting that on Black History Month that he’s being honored today,” Mac’s widow, Rhonda McCullough told NBC News’ Chicago affiliate WMAQ-TV.
Mac, born Bernard McCullough, launched his career in comedy at the Chicago Cotton Club. After his appearance on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” his career took off. His numerous film roles and “The Bernie Mac Show” later led him to become a household name.
The comedian died in August 2008 at age 50 from pneumonia complications, after suffering from sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Denise Jordan-Walker, a spokeswoman for the Bernie Mac Foundation told the Chicago Tribune during the event. Walker explained that she came up with the commemoration idea last year.
Shortly before Mac’s death, he and his family launched the Bernie Mac Foundation to raise awareness about sarcoidosis, according to the organization’s website. Today, through a partnership with the American Lung Association, the Respiratory Health Association and the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, the Mac Foundation provides information and support for Sarcoidosis patients nationwide.