The name La Julia Rhea might not sound familiar to most, but she’s a pioneering artist, and a true Chicago original.

She was the first Black Opera singer to break the color barrier, performing at the Civic Opera House in Chicago.

Chicagoan Jimmy Nuter, who salvages old homes, discovered some artifacts relating to her when working in a home in Blue Island in 2021. The home once belonged to Ms. Rhea.

Larry Potash has the Backstory.

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