Margaret T. Burroughs, Archivist of Black History, Dies at 95

Historians in the News

Margaret T. Burroughs, a founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, one of the first museums devoted to black history and culture in the United States, died on Sunday in Chicago. She was 95.

Her death was confirmed by her grandson Eric Toller.

Mrs. Burroughs, an artist and high school teacher, shared with her husband, Charles, an interest in history and a desire to celebrate the achievements of black Americans. In 1961, using their own collection of art and artifacts, Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs established a small museum in three rooms on the first floor of a large house they had recently bought on South Michigan Avenue. Originally called the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art, it was renamed in 1968 to honor Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the black settler considered the first permanent citizen of what would become the city of Chicago.

In the early 1970s the museum moved to its present location in a city-owned building in Washington Park, just west of the University of Chicago. Its holdings of artworks, artifacts and documents include memorabilia of the poet Langston Hughes and the sociologist and historian W.B. DuBois, the boxing gloves that Joe Louis wore when he won the Golden Gloves competition in 1934, and the jacket that Paul Robeson wore when performing before black troops during World War II....

comments powered by Disqus