For today’s Feel Good Friday, we’re continuing our celebration of Black History Month by sharing the story of the DuSable Museum of African American History.
Founded by Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs in 1961, at a time when Black culture was overlooked by most museums and academic establishments, the mission of the DuSable Museum of African American History is “to promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art.”
Located in Chicago, it is the first museum of its type in the country and “the longest standing independent keeper of Black America’s history”. What began in Dr. Burroughs’ living room 60 years ago is now an independent institution that welcomes over 100,000 visitors each year.
The museum holds over 15,000 pieces of art, including paintings, sculpture, print works and historical memorabilia. Visitors can view the collection and attend special events such as an upcoming theatrical reading of the trial transcript of the State of Mississippi vs. Milam and Bryant, the men who were found not guilty of murdering Emmett Till. Many of the events that have already taken place at the museum can be viewed in the video archives.
Educational programs put on by the DuSable include: Code Black, a lecture series which addresses topics such as reparations, history of Black activism and Covid 19; lunch and learn discussions where people learn about politics and civic participation; and Black Fine Art Month, an event held every October to celebrate the Black Fine Art aesthetic.
On February 16th, the DuSable is hosting a virtual event on Instagram, called Equiano.Stories. It reimagines the childhood saga of Olaudah Equiano and how it would be represented if he had Instagram when he was enslaved in 1756. Fascinating!
If you’d like to support the DuSable and their innovative approaches to sharing African American history, there are many ways to do so. Purchase a membership to the museum, shop for merch, make a donation and share the love on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them Twitter @DuSableMuseum and Instagram@dusablemuseum. #thisiswhatweDu