By: Alexandra Gill
The DuSable Museum is one of the few independent institutions of its kind in the United States was founded in 1961, by a teacher and art historian Dr. Margaret Burroughs and other leading Chicago citizens. The Museum is dedicated to analyzing the history and culture of Africans and African Americans. The DuSable Museum holds a number of 15,000 distinct pieces including paintings, sculpture, print works, and historical memorabilia. The DuSable Museum remains a community foundation committed to serving the cultural and pedagogical needs of our members.
The first floor of the museum marks the freedom, resistance and the journey toward equality exhibition.
In 1772-1852, the Irish Reverend Robert Walsh served as the chaplain to the British Embassy in Brazil in the 1820s. Walsh traveled the country for 200 days in order to write the anti-slavery travel narrative Notices in Brazil in 1828 and 1829. In the account, Walsh describes boarding a slave ship and discovering the miserable conditions endured by the 562 captives on board.
Between 1526 and the mid-1800’s over 10 million Africans were kidnapped and transported to the New World via the transatlantic slave trade. This forced migration marks the beginning of a widespread African diaspora, as those captured were taken from numerous ethnic groups across the West African coastline, packed onto European slave ships and redistributed throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
In the 19th century, slave traders used human yokes as an inexpensive method of restraint for the journey from inland areas to the coast. A wooden Y-shaped device was placed on the neck of each person, with the other and attached to another yoke and another person, forming a long line of captives.
Ida B Wells-Barnett was born into slavery in 1862. She was one of the most productive early radicals for social justice. Wells was well educated and passionate, she became an activist. While she was living and working in Memphis, three of her friends were killed by a lynch mob after a dispute with rival white business owners. In the Memphis Free Speech, a newspaper for which Wells was editor and part-owner, she accused these murders and called on blacks to leave the South, hence beginning her campaign against racism and lynching.
“Black Panther Party, 1966, when Huey and I founded that organization, that particular year numerous acts of police brutality had sparked a lot of spontaneous riots, something that Huey and I were against, these spontaneous riots. Even a year earlier, in 1965 in Watts you know 65 people were killed, 200 wounded, 5,000 arrested. And Huey and I began to try to figure out how could we organize 5,000 youthful Black folks into some kind of political-electoral power movement”, said Bobby Seale.
People from all walks of life should visit the DuSable Museum of African American History because it represents a great deal of heritage that affects the African descent today. The importance of the Museum is for everyone to educate themselves on the history of African culture. It was the endurance of their ancestors that the younger generation must recognize changed the world for the better.