Margaret Burroughs, founder and Director Emeritus of the DuSable Museum of African American History, is pictured in June 2009.
DuSable Museum founder, cultural leader Margaret Burroughs dead at 93
November 21, 2010
BY MARY HOULIHAN Staff Reporter
Margaret Burroughs, an artist, poet, educator and founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History, died early Sunday morning at her home surrounded by her family.
Mrs. Burroughs legacy reaches across the spectrum, and is a distinctive contribution to black culture.
“Every individual wants to leave a legacy; to be remembered for something positive they have done for their community,” Mrs. Burroughs once told Ebony magazine. “Long after I’m dead and gone, the DuSable Museum will still be here.”
Mrs. Burroughs, 93, was born in St. Rose, La., and had a lifelong passion for learning. She moved with her family north to Chicago where she attended Englewood High School. She would go on to attend Chicago Normal College, Chicago Teachers College and the School of the Art Institute.
The DuSable got its start in 1961 during a meeting at Mrs. Burroughs’s home. Originally called the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art, it was relocated in 1971 from Burroughs’ home to Washington Park and renamed for Haitian trader Jean Baptist Pointe DuSable, Chicago’s first permanent settler.
Mrs. Burroughs was the author of children’s books and volumes of poetry that spoke to the African-American experience.
Mrs. Burroughs taught art for more than 20 years at DuSable High School.
She worked in sculpture and painting but it was her skill as a printmaker that she became best known for. Her linoleum block prints featured images relevant to African-American culture.
At Mrs. Burroughs request, there will be no funeral service. A public memorial will be held after the holidays.
She was a legend in Chicago. Respected and revered, far and wide.