Wednesday, November 24, 2010
8194: More Thoughts On Dr. Margaret Burroughs.
From The Chicago Sun-Times…
Arts had great champion in Margaret Burroughs
It wasn’t unusual for Margaret Burroughs to ask people, “What will your legacy be?” or “How will you make your mark on the world?”
Answering those questions for herself became the driving force in Burroughs’ life.
And Chicago is a better city for it.
Burroughs, who died Sunday at age 95, was a beloved artist, teacher, author and builder of cultural institutions.
She is perhaps best known for co-founding the nation’s first black history museum, the DuSable Museum, with her late husband Charles in 1961. Before that, she had a hand in creating the South Side Community Art Center, which serves as a haven for budding and established artists to this day.
And she was a mentor to countless Chicagoans as an art teacher at DuSable High School in Bronzeville and as a professor of humanities at Kennedy-King College.
In these and other endeavors, Burroughs made it her life’s work to educate black Chicagoans — and the city as a whole — about the accomplishments of people whose names had been left out of the history books.
In the process, she demonstrated the impact one person can have on the lives of many.
“For her, it was always about moving for social justice and social change,” DuSable Museum CEO Carol Adams told us. “If she saw a void, she stepped in to fill it.”
That’s a legacy we can all learn from.
We also can honor Burroughs’ memory by supporting the institutions she built.
Burroughs, in a 2004 interview with WLS-Channel 7, explained her life’s mission this way:
“You’re born, and you live and you ought to leave something other than just a tombstone signifying that you were here.”
Margaret Burroughs left us so much more.