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African Americans in Chicago

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Du Sable Museum of African American History

Dr. Margaret G. Burroughs, black Chicago's Grand Dame of the Arts, her husband Charles, and several other local cultural enthusiasts started the Ebony Museum in the Burroughs' mansion in 1961. Their aim was clear cut: They sought inform and elevate the historical consciousness of all humanity, but especially the city's black community, about the contributions their ancestors had made to both Chicago and world civilization since time immemorial. Chicago is a city rich in African American History, and the museum's namesake comes from the contributions of Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, a Haitian of African and French descent who in 1779 established the trading post and permanent settlement which would become known as Chicago. During the 1970s, the institution was relocated and renamed as the Du Sable Museum, and is one of the few independent organizations of its kind in the United States (and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum of Washington, D.C.). The museum was developed to preserve and interpret the experiences and achievements of people of African descent and is dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation and study of the history and culture of Africans and persons of African descent throughout the world. The Du Sable Museum is proud of its diverse holdings that number more than 15,000 pieces and include archival materials, paintings, sculpture, print works and historical memorabilia. Special exhibitions, workshops and lectures are featured to highlight works by particular artists, historical events, or collections on loan from individuals or institutions. Research, curatorial and educational departments are committed to responding to the needs of both the public as well as those of art and cultural historians. Overall, the museum remains a community institution dedicated to serving the cultural and educational needs of the entire Chicagoland and global communities. A new exhibit and archival collection room named after renowned scholar and Chicagoan, Dr. Charles V. Hamilton, and his scholar-wife, Donna Cooper Hamilton, was opened in February 2018 and contains manuscripts, books and ephemera related to the Hamiltons' careers. Shortly thereafter, a sustaining World War One exhibit was opened, titled "Citizens Soldiers and Democracy" that pays tribute to Chicago's famed Eighth Infantry Regiment of the Illinois National Guard (federally re-designated as the 370th ) during the First World War being fought in France. "Resistance to Freedom" and "Harold Washington, Mayor" are other permanent exhibits open to the public. The Du Sable Museum is conveniently located at the corner of 57th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue in spacious Washington Park on the city's South Side. Museum is conveniently located in Washington

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