The DuSable Museum of African American History

Share Your Memories of Dr. Burroughs

Share Your Memories of Dr. Burroughs
November 22, 2010

The DuSable Museum of African American History remembers Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs. We would love to hear some of your fondest memories of Dr. Burroughs.


33 Comments

When I was a young man in a single digit age. My father who was friends with Dr. Burroughs took me with him to visit her one evening for whatever reason. I remember being in her magnificent house an being quiet because I didn’t necessarily expect an adult stranger to even notice me and I was not the reason for the visit. Who notices children, anyway? She did.

She went out of her way to have personal and real conversation with me and told that I was a very articulate and thoughtful young man and that I should not forget that and pursue education with all my might (or something to that effect). She did not talk to me or treat me like a child as people tended to do, she knew I was young but that I was still a person and that I mattered. Before I left, she gave me a seashell from her house and told me that I could hear the ocean in it whenever i put my ear to it. I was so impressed and inspired that I held on to it for YEARS and always loved the sound until one day I lost it between moving from one house to another.

Dr. Burroughs was one of the most sincerest souls I have EVER met in my life and I’ll never forget that day even though it was over 2 decades ago. She was one of a kind. She never looked down on people and she stayed concerned and involved and sincere throughout her years. I know this to be true because she even went out of her way to visit my little sister, who has a disability, at her art Gallery Opening (Project Onward) in the Chicago Cultural Center less than 2 years ago. She brought unmeasurable life to the event left everyone with one of her prints before leaving. She cared. About her people and about art.

You can’t replace people like her. She will be more than missed and yet she will ALWAYS be with me and everyone else who she touched in her magical and artistic way. Her life was no where near lived in vain and that is so reassuring and inspirational to me to know that. She lives on in my mind and her greatness will never, ever be forgotten.

Posted by Alazeem Hameed on November 22, 2010.

First I miss My Mamma Burroughs, I remember we went on a trip to North Carolina and she said, “get some lemon aid from McDonalds but if it cost two dollars forget, you wont rob me for some lemons.” I Learned so much from her that week and the years i served under her teaching, and I still wont spend two dollars on a lemon aid.

Posted by Mondrea Harmon on November 22, 2010.

Dr.Burroughs was a great inspiration to me as a creative person. She made a place for me to explore my talents: I took dance classes at DuSable Museum with Darlene Blackburn there; I participated in most of her art festival venues; Lake Meadows, Washington Park, Southside Community Arts Centers and one of the 1st quilt exhibits inside DuSable. She invited me into her mansion, showed me items destined for the Museum, gave me a cup of tea and prints of her woodcuts.

Peace

Posted by MARIAN HAYES on November 22, 2010.

My most joyful memory of Dr. Burroughs is the time she and I danced together at an outdoor jazz event about ten years ago. You wouldn’t know she was in her eighties at the time because that woman could move! Some might argue that she wore me out on the dance floor, but my male ego will never allow me to admit that. Rest in peace, Dr. Burroughs. Keep teaching, keep dancing.

Posted by Raymond T. Hightower on November 22, 2010.

I never had the opportunity to meet you in this earthly realm but I do appreciate all that you contributed and the exposure that you gave African American art and history.  I plan on visiting the museum whenever I make it to Chicago.  May your legacy live on forever and may your soul rest in peace.

Posted by The Black Art Depot on November 22, 2010.

Like Dr. Burroughs I too am a historian. She had told me that the humble person is more recognized than the arragant one. Being friends for more than 25 years, it will be hard not being able to call her on the telephone.

I for a very long time would donate postcards to the museum. These later were placed on the website for the museum.

Last year I was able to get Dr. Burroughs to do a poetry reading at Triton College in River Grove.Later she had given many pieces of artwork autographed for everyone there. Placing me in charge of that. She had later autographed a special work of art for a friend who was not able to attend. As a gift from the students of Triton College, I presented her with a jigsaw puzzle that I had assembled and framed. And for Dr. Burroughs it had to be from the South.  After this I had driven her home and gave a photograph of the grave stone of DuSable to her as again a gift from me.

.
She had told me that to be recognized as an individual I had to be able to walk through a door with distinction. After 2 hours and 45 times she only replied perfect.

Being a friend of the late Ernest Griffin, and a fellow historian from my own town. Dr. Burroughs recognized that I had great potential in the long run of eventually being noted too.

.
Many times I would visit the DuSable Museum on Sunday. Several of the staff would recognize me as Dr. Burroughs friend. And that is something I was proud to be.

Posted by Bart Halleman on November 22, 2010.

One day, I saw Dr Burroughs: The Park Commissioner, I said, I love your stories…. I had my baby girl, Tymony Pearl, with me. She said “what’s your address?” Just like that, without hesitation she gave her stuff away…. She taught me allot in that moment.  It was nearly 7 years later, Dr Burroughs invited me to sit with her while taping Dr. Gloria Peace: ICONOLOGY program. Dr Burroughs listened to my story song… said its an answer to What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black:  I Love My People! Tell them I Love My People! Oh what a Mighty, Mighty, Warrior.  Thank you, for this forum, Thank you for your generous Spirit, the Ancestors have a new Dance Partner, skating across them golden paved streets. bye for now

Posted by Oba on November 23, 2010.

My heart is truly sadden at the death of Dr. Margaret Burroughs founder of DuSable Museum. It’s such a blessing, honor and humbling experience to have met her and even more to be able to portray Dr. Burroughs in BRONZEVILLE: A 47th Street Renaissance Musical. My heart and prayers go out to Dr. Burroughs’ family.

When I first met Dr. Burroughs it was to discuss me portraying her in a musical.  I wanted to know what life was like for her during her youth so that I could perfect her and immulate her.  Dr.  Burroughs talked with me a long time, gave me her paintings and poetry.  I remember telling Dr. Burroughs how honored, blessed and humbled I was to be able to portray her and Dr. Burroughs say “No, I’m honored that you’re playing me”  I couldn’t believe it.  The pleasure and honor is all mine to still be portraying Dr. Burroughs, she has touched my life dearly and taught me so much in the time that I’ve known her from August 2010 until her passing.  A couple things that always stood out to me about Dr. Burroughs is that she was full of love, she believed in hugs not handshakes, her sense of humor, her youthfulness and her encouragement of another’s legacy.  I love her poems “My Philosophy” and “What Will Your Legacy Be”

I’m thankful to God to have had the opportunity to be blessed to have my life graced with the presence of Dr. Burroughs!  Dr. Burroughs your legacy will forever live on and I will do my part to make sure that your legacy lives on!

My Philosophy

Dr. Margaret Burroughs

I reject and ignore all things, ideas, people, etc. who are negative. I do not allow them to enter my aura.

Age is nothing but a number, you are as old as you feel.

If you keep your mind active, your body will stay young.

The only things that grow old are clothes and you can always discard them and buy new ones.

If you don’t move it, you’ll lose it.

It is better to give than to receive.

There is joy in giving.

Whatever you give out, will come back to you in some way or other.

Give out evil and evil will come back to you give out good and good will come back to you.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Persevere. Perseverance is what counts if you wish to achieve success.

There is no such word as “can’t”.

The fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Reject all things negative. Accentuate all things positive. Identify early in life your goal, or your dream. Work toward it. Every human being should leave a legacy for those who come after, a bridge for them to cross over on, such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and others left for us today to cross over on.

What will your legacy be? How will your life help those who come after you?

Will your legacy be a silent decaying gray tombstone- or will it be an inspiring painting or a poem or a play or a novel to remind people that you lived?

Decide at this point what you wish your legacy to be and begin right now to work toward it.

Don’t let anyone discourage you!

Know ye, that money or the acquiring of it is not the mist important goal in life. The most important goal in life is service to humanity.

I wish to make the world more beautiful and better just because I’m in it.

Whatever your life’s work is to be, it should be something that helps to serve humanity and to improve the conditions of life for those now and who come after you.

Go with God. The God spirit is within you!

.

Posted by Sheena House on November 23, 2010.

I have several, this is my favorite. While I was a police officer often patrolling the 2nd District where both Dr. Burroughs and I lived, I would often see her on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon walking near home. She would always have a nice shopping bag containing items that would clankity-clank. Each time I saw her, I would stop and ask her if she needed a lift. Each time she said yes. I won’t tell where I would take her, but it gave me tremendous pride and gratitude to know that the City of Chicago police department was at her service. She would sit in the front seat next to me and we would have a good time chatting away as I drove Dr. Burroughs. By the way, one day she told me what was in the bag; bottles of good wine for her special friends she was going to visit.

Posted by Pat Hill on November 23, 2010.

I remember Mrs Burroughs my division teacher at Dusable HIgh School I was a freshment, I look at her with her afro hair style and african cloths that was even before people start having a afro. first thing that can to mind was wow!!!! “She is not ashamed to let her hair be nautral”. And one year later I hade one lol. DR burroughs was invitied to my school district where i work. I was choosen to pick her up when I arrive she was waiting outside I got out the car with my hand on my hip and said Dr burrough what u doing out here she laught and we talk i told her that my mother hade pass and she told me dont worry about ill be your mother. Then we got to the school and i help her put the art display together and poetry writing out. She left me in charge of it while she talk i call her mrs burrough i hade to correct myself and remember that she was Dr burrough now. She said that was alright you are one of my student.
          PS Teacher Mother you are one of KInd God Bless
              MIss you student Judy Evans
            PPS Dr burrough was also my humanity teacher in college

Posted by Judy Evans on November 23, 2010.

Dr. Burroughs/Mother Teacher: It is because of DuSable museum that I became a student at Northeastern Ill Center for Inner City Studies, earning my MA there. I loved coming to the museum to walk, look, listen and learn. One Sunday in 1989, Professor Willie Dixon was guiding and teaching through the middle passage that I became so inspired to become as he. And, it was your inspiration that drove him to inspire me. I am now a liver and speaker of history, culture and black consciousness knowledge, thanks to the spirit of you and those who’ve come before you. Thank you for our meeting at South Shore Cultural Center and for having been a living force for my mentor, MamaSent/Dr. Gloria Peace. Thank you for embracing and not fearing your Africaness. Thank you for preparing the way and ways for me and those who shall come after me. Thank you for The Ancestral Spirit of Umoja, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kujichagalia and Imani. Hotep be unto you.

Posted by makeda baker on November 24, 2010.

Dr. Margaret was one of the most gracious people I have ever met. Next to my parents, William and Edith, Dr. Margaret has had the greatest profound influence on my life. My connection to her is through being the Founder of the National Conference of Artists (NCA) and our interactions with the organization and our closer connection as a Mentor.

My first encounter with her was as a member of the Officers of the organization’s Task Force Members at a NCA Conference. After the meeting was over, I was this unknown Artist and budding Author and humbled to be in her presence, I shyly/boldly asked her if she would mind looking over my book manuscript and give me some feedback. She took the manuscript and said, “Sure Honey I’d be happy to read it and I’ll even edit it for you, if you like,” and of course that was great with me and a huge honor. Long story short, I did write and self publish the book “The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Fine Art African American Style,” that Dr. Margaret encouraged and edited. She even came to Washington DC for the book’s premier and program.

Dr. Margaret was always positive about every thing and was willing to help anyone who would take heed to her valuable words of wisdom. No matter what your visions and goals were she would say, “If there is anything I can do to help you accomplish your dreams then let me know, I’ll be willing to help you.”

We were on a panel together, for a book signing and program in Kansas City, Missouri, given by Ethnic Fine Art Gallery. Later that evening Dr. Margaret introduced me to Directors and Curators of the Negro Baseball Museum and the Jazz Museum, that were located across the street from the Gallery. The panel symposium lasted two days and in our moment of spare time we had to get Dr. Margaret to one of her favorite pass-time locations…Yes, the “Thrift Store,” (smile). No matter what city she is in, you have to include a trip to the thrift store, she loved them.

As the former President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Conference of Artists, we were blessed to bring her to DC to honor her, in September 2009, as part of our celebration of NCA’s 50th Anniversary 1959 to 2009. We had a Historical Exhibition of 25 local DCNCA/NCA Fine Artists with original works of art and a program, at Parish Gallery. Dr. Margaret was honored and she recited her “Legacy” poem giving us her charm, energy and great spirit. On the way back to the airport, note that at 94 years old she traveled by herself, she gave me advice on how to start a museum and said she wasn’t going anywhere she had more things to do.

I am truly blessed to have had a wonderful person, Dr. Margaret Burroughs, in my life as a Mentor, inspiration and as someone who set examples, in many ways, to show you how to live your life. She was one of God the Creator’s earthly angels and has now become a Heavenly Angel…“You will be missed and remembered!”

Posted by Ana Maria Allen on November 24, 2010.

Dr. Burroughs was special to me because she was my best friend and like a grandmother to me. I loved her like the morning sun. I met her through my aunt, because she knew her very well. She visited me in Colorado during her stay to talk about Black History Month. Dr. Burroughs was a mentor to me. She talked to me about the importance of my legacy and pursuing dreams. If there were one friend that was there for me during good times and bad, it would be Dr. Burroughs. She was like an angel.

Posted by Dylan W. on November 27, 2010.

I remeber one day she was at the museum for an enterview with the press, afterwards she was exited the building in route to the bus stop. I met her in the parking lot and asked her if she wanted a ride home, she replied” somebody always wants to drop me off and pick me up if that happens I would never get to use my bus pass, young man If you want to live as long as I have stay active.”

Dr. Burroughs very much want to live as long as you, so I promise I will always stay active. LOL, I miss you already. (LOVE)

Posted by Van White, Security Manager Dusable Museum on November 27, 2010.

Every time I saw Dr.Burroughs she was always so busy doing something or going somewhere.  So I asked her, ” When are you going to retire?”,  and she responded, “When God doesn’t have anymore work for me to do.” So I guess her work is done and our job has truly began in holding and cherishing her legacy of our history.  I felt honored to have known someone so special.

Posted by Shandi Hayes on November 28, 2010.

Community service for her, laughing at her jokes, walking and talking with her through her empire(Dusable Meusum), her encouraging me to become a member of her meusum so that I too might share some wisdom. That sista, that confident, quiet sista had such a beauty to her. Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs. You shook the world ...with what you knew and gave what you had.. Rest in peace my dear.. We love you!

Posted by Brent R. Hamlet on November 28, 2010.

One memory I have of Dr. Burroughs is when she would visit my classroom once a year to speak to my students during African American History Month.  Initially as a class project, my students had written to her and from that time on she would visit my third grade class devotedly once a year. When she completed her presentation, I would drive her to the Cook County Jail where Dr. Burroughs would then mentor female prisoners.  However, my fondest memory is when I would visit her home and sit in her kitchen and listen to her inspiring words on the plight, accomplishments, and triumphs of African Americans.  She had an abundance of energy, tenacity, and compassion along with talent and creativity.  She never faltered from these words that she wrote in her high school yearbook, “I would like for the world to be a better place to live because I have been here.”  I would say, “Mission complete. Thank you Dr. Margaret Burroughs.”

Posted by Dr. Leslie K. Best on November 29, 2010.

Dr. Margaret G. Burroughs, that I knew:
I was a student at the American Academy of Art when invite to attend a meeting at her home, 3806 So Michigan Ave, where she and her husband Charles Burroughs, presented their plan to establish the DuSable Museum of African American History.. the year was 1958.  It was the beginning of DUSABLE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY and a long friendship. SHE WAS A GUIDING LIGHT in MANY LIVES.

May She Rest in Peace.

Posted by Curtis Kojo Morrow on November 30, 2010.

Like many Chicago Public School children, I remember visiting the museum when it was just exhibits in her home. It was a grand day for me, growing up and seeing her dream manifested in a building in the neighborhood that I grew up in.

Dr. Burroughs will be missed. She was an inspiration. Her dream gave birth to the dreams/successes of many.

God bless her soul. Her spirit shone brightly while she was here on earth. She was a blessing to me and to many.

Thank God for her. My heartfelt condolences and blessings to her family, knowing their loss is heaven’s gain.

Posted by Ana on November 30, 2010.

Just a few years ago, when I was still a student in college I was searching for an internship. Not many things seemed to really fit what I was looking for. At my age of course, I was dreaming of something spectacular, something extraordinary, almost surreal even. And as life would have it, that is exactly what I found. I remember walking through those museum doors which I had not passed through since I was a very young child. I can recall just knowing that I had found my spectacular experience. As an intern, I learned so much about African American history but I have to say that the most important thing that I learned was just how powerful the building blocks of a dream can be when founded on determination and backed by sheer sacrifice. Learning about Dr. Burroughs dream and seeing the realization of that each and every day was awe inspiring and truly something that I will never forget.

Posted by Mack on December 1, 2010.

When I was working for Star Planet Television, Dr Margaret Burroughs used to come in for the usual monday roundtable show. After the show I always volunteered to take Dr. Burroughs home.

One evening after we wrapped up our final show for the day, I drove home a couple of co-workers and Dr. Burroughs. While driving, Dr. Burroughs would converse with us about our lives and her travels. It was always an enlightening and valuable time with her. Dr. Burroughs used to get what she called her “monday night high”, which was her excited reaction to my defensive yet fast driving. This evening we were on the Dan Ryan expressway, while the car was filled with conversation and laughter I hit the off ramp for 79th street. The traffic on State street was a little thick so like a city boy I immediately turn into the alley to go around traffic. If anyone knows about alleys in Chicago….79th street in Chicago, they’re….such interesting places to say the least. Everybody in the car got quiet as I navigated through the alley, past the over-flowing garbage bins, dodging 3 foot deep potholes, narrowly missing rats, cats, dogs, other mysterious animals and stammering humans, all while holding my breath from the creeping odor.

Finally right in the middle of our alley trip, Dr. Margaret Burroughs, staring at the alley, broke the silence by saying “I’ve been all over the world, met world leaders, been treated like royalty, seen beautiful sights, met wonderful people…I come back home and this boy takes me through an alley.”

The car exploded with laughter. I knew she as cool with it when I saw her laugh as well.

Loved that elder sister.

Posted by FX on December 2, 2010.

Dr. Margaret was one of the most gracious people I have ever met. Next to my parents, Dr. Margaret has had the greatest profound influence on my life. My connection to her is through being the Founder of The National Conference of Artist (NCA) and our interaction with the organization and our closer connection as a Mentor.

My first encounter with her was as an Officer of the organization’s Task Force Member at a NCA conference. After the meeting was over, I was this unknown Artist and budding Author and humbled to be in her presence, I shyly/boldly asked her if she would mind looking over my book manuscript and give me some feed back. She took the manuscript and said, “Sure Honey I’d be happy to read it and I’ll even edit for you if you like,” and that was O.K. with me and a huge honor. Long story short, I did write and self publish the book “The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Fine Art African American Style” that Dr. Margaret encouraged and edited. She even came to Washington DC for the book’s premier and program.
Dr. Margaret was always positive about everything and was willing to help anyone who would take heed to her valuable words of wisdom.

As the former President of the Washington DC Area Chapter of the National Conference of Artists (DCNCA), we were blessed to bring her to DC to honor her in September 2009, as a part of our celebration of NCA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration 1959 to 2009. We had a Historical Exhibition of 25 local DCNCA/NCA Fine Artists with original works of art and a program, at Parish Gallery. Dr. Margaret came to DC and she was honored and she recited her “Legacy” poem giving us her charm, energy and great spirit. In our moment of spare time, we had to get Dr. Margaret to one of her favorite pass-time locations….Yes, the Thrift Store (smile). No matter what city she is in, you have to include a trip to the thrift store, she loved them. On the way back to the airport, note-I’m still amazed that at 94 years old she was traveling by herself..no cane…nothing, she gave me advice on how to start a museum and said she wasn’t going anywhere she had more things to do.

I am truely blessed to have had a wonderful person, Dr. Margaret Burroughs, in my life as a Mentor, inspiration and as someone who set examples in may ways, to show you how to live Your life. She was one of God the Creator’s Earthly Angels and has now become a Heavenly Angel…“You will be missed and remembered!”

Ana M. Allen
DCNCA

Posted by Ana M. Allen on December 3, 2010.

I was sadden to hear of the passing of Dr. Margret Burroughs.  I met and enjoyed her company in the late 1990s with a travel group visitng Ghana and touring cities across South Africa.  Leaving Africa is when Dr. Burroughs joined our group.  We traveled to South Amerca for Rio and completed in Bahia, Salvador.  She honored us with her wit and wisdom.  She gave gifts of her artwork to each of us.  I will treasure these gifts and know that her legacy and spirit live on.  I now have and will give an inspiring story and keepsake for my grandchildren along with a lifetime memory of my experience in our travels. 

Each one, teach one.  Thanks, Dr. Burroughs.

Posted by Sheila Grace on December 3, 2010.

On behave of Chancellor Dr Dennis Alicea and all the professors and staff of the Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, PR we wish to express our condolences to the DuSable Museum for the passing of your founder and Director Emeritus Dr. Margaret Burroughs. She visited us at the Museum of Universidad del Turabo in 2008 and shared her experiences and enthusiasm about the DuSable Museum and her many accomplishments during her long and productive life. We feel honored to have met her and that she visited us at Universidad del Turabo. Sincerely, Carmen Ruiz Fischler, Director MCEH

Posted by Carmen Ruiz Fischler on December 8, 2010.

I was a student of Dr. Burroughs in the mid-1960’s at DuSable High School. She was my art teacher. Her very presence spoke volumes of her confidence in being a Black woman. She inspired me and increased my sense of Black consciousness. Today, by the grace of God, the images I paint in the minds of God’s people are transforming images of God’s Word (the truth) that will indeed ‘make them free.’  I thank God for what Dr. Burroughs imparted in my life.

Pastor Makeda London
Shut-Up Prison & Outreach Ministry
December 11, 2010

Posted by Pastor Makeda London on December 11, 2010.

I remember when Dr. Burroughs visited Muhammad University of Islam about three years ago.  I had seen many of her works of arts and read a little about her, but it was a beautiful experience to see her in person.  I sat in the back with my little baby, at the time, and as she was exiting she came over to greet my little Khalilah and me.  It was such an honor to be in her presence.  To this day, I remember and I hold fast to a day when I am able to fully express myself and my gift to the world.  She was a true inspiration, with all of her hard work, dedication, and patience!  May the Peace and Blessings of the Creator forever be upon her!

Posted by Niambi S. Muhammad on December 12, 2010.

In honor of the great Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs by Sculptor Debra Hand

When my career in the arts began, I was standing on the shoulders of the great Dr. Margaret Burroughs.  Dr. Burroughs was my “art mother:” she literally gave birth to me as an artist.  She was the one who first discovered my work and personally escorted me into the arts’ community.  She arranged for my very first public exhibit and was the first person to come through the door when the show opened.  She arranged for my first museum acquisition, and my very first public unveiling and presentation.  She introduced me to art patrons, curators, collectors and gallerists.  So often, she stood with me like a proud stage-mother, introducing me as her daughter as she pulled me into her own spotlight.  In fact, during one of the proudest moments of her own life when the DuSable Museum held her “Lifetime in the Arts’ Retrospective in 2000, she even brought me onstage with her to let the world know she believed in my work. 

Dr. Burroughs nurtured my talent, encouraged my confidence, mentored me, and watched proudly as my work evolved from obscurity to prominence.  She sculpted me into a sculptor and sent me off into the art world.  She was my friend, my mentor, my hero.   

I am so grateful for the honor of having personally known Dr. Margaret Burroughs.  I am grateful for having had the honor of hearing the stories from her own mouth about how and why she built so many great institutions for Chicago.  I am grateful for having the honor of having her to hold my hand and bring me into the fine arts’ world – a world that I could not have dreamed of being a part of just one generation before, but that I could now proudly inhabit because of her lifetime of trail blazing.  I am grateful for her gifts of cultural pride to our community.  I am grateful for the light she shined on the beauty of my community for the world to behold.  I am grateful for the legacy that will always remain with us; and grateful, grateful, grateful, for the honor of being able to call her my close friend and art-mother. 

I am so thankful to Dr. Burroughs for all that she has done to elevate the image of the African American Community.  And I will continue to thank her for the rest of my days—each and every time I feel her presence in my life and in this city that she so loved and has contributed so much to. 

Long before African-American’s had status in this society, she gave us “a place to be somebody.”  She gave this city (and the world) the first museum devoted to showcasing and preserving African-American culture.  She gave us art galleries and poems and facts about our heritage that allowed us to develop strong reference points for who we are, and who we can be in the world.  There is a reason why the first African-American president in the history of the world could find his political launching pad in the city of Chicago.  It is the city where Dr. Burroughs’ legacy is most alive and at work. 

A couple of weeks ago, during my last visit with Dr. Burroughs, I got a chance to have one more hug.  I got a chance to tell her I loved her one more time.  I got a chance to hear her say she was proud of me one more time.  And as best I could, I got a chance to say thank you, one last time.  But as I always said to Dr. Burroughs, how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to the Smithsonian? 
When Dr. Burrough’s close friend, the legendary poet Gwendolyn Brooks, made her transition, Dr. Burroughs said that “Gwen had earned her right to go and be with the ancestors.”  To that extent, I know that the ancestors are celebrating the arrival of Dr. Burroughs with great joy for she has surely earned her right to sit high among them.  Her legacy will long live on. 


Thank you for you life Mama Burroughs, Love Debra Hand

Posted by Debra Hand on December 21, 2010.

I had the pleasure of hosting an 88th birthday lunch at my house for Dr. Burroughs.  She was my brother’s high school English teacher and my sister volunteered with her at the museum. Dr. Burroughs leave a legacy of excellence for us today. She was a national treasure.

Posted by Mary Fleming-Hughes on December 22, 2010.

Over the years I had casually met Dr. Burroughs at public events, book signings, and lectures in which she participated.  Then, in 2008 and again in 2009 my husband Richard I were part of a small group that travelled internationally with Dr. Burroughs.  She was fascinating;  she effortlessly blended into the group with the same ease as breathing in and breathing out.  She had no appetite for pretentiouness as some reknown people do.
I and everyone else feel in love with her for this.  She was comfortable with herself and consequently projected that in her   being; she knew that she was enough.  How refreshing it was to be in the company of a person so in- touch with her real self. Without even trying she made all of us feel comfortable around her.
When I think about it I am still awed that Dr. Burroughs told me- when she first saw me- that I was beautiful; she said she wanted a picture of me.  I just let it pass.  But weeks later on the last day of the last trip as Dr. Burroughs was leaving the group, she reminded me that she wanted my picture.  This time I didn’t let it pass;  I sent her pictures of me.  I’d admired her for decades as an artist.  I still don’t know what in me caught her eye but I’m glad it did!

Posted by Konora on February 6, 2011.

I first met Dr. Burroughs while visiting the museum with my toddler son.  He had to use the restroom and I was frantically looking for it. I wandered into various rooms and came upon an work room. Dr. Burroughs was in the room working with other individuals. The other women ignored me but she approached me and kindly asked if I was lost. After I told her my predicament, she left her work and took my son and me to the restroom. Years later when I was very frustrated from writing a book, she offered her guidance and even allowed me to use her name and words on the back of the book as a show of support. However, my most memorable memory of her was meeting her for breakfast and at the time she was in her 80’s.  She told me she was very fond of roller skating and continued to do so.  What a remarkable, talented and giving woman!

Posted by Lorraine McGregor on February 8, 2011.

Margret was a great women she is very much missed and love and she will never be replaced!!

Posted by Champagne Blue on February 23, 2011.

I would like to extend our deepest sympathy on the loss of Margaret Burroughs. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the memebrship of the Association of African American Museums, we want the family to know that she will be missed by all of us.  Dr. Margaret Burroughs is the “Grandmother of all African American Museums” and her legacy will be acknowledged at our conferences in the future. The conference will never be the same, yet her spirit will be with us always.

Sincerely,
Kathe Hambrick Jackson, President
Association of African American Museums

Posted by Kathe Hambrick Jackson on February 24, 2011.

Dear Dr. Burroughs
Thank you for being the Mother of the African American History
Museum movement and a part of my life. I first met you when
you came to Detroit in 1966 to hear Helen Graham Dubois speak. This lecture was arranged by my father, Dr. Charle Wright founder of the museum that bears his name in Detroit. You were so excited
about Black History. You and my father became allies in the museum movement. Yow shared a long struggle and rewarding
friendship that lasted opver 35 years.

You and my father called the first meeting of other museums of
African American History to discuss issues and challenges facing
the Black History museum movement. Thus the African American
Association of Museums was born . The AAAM now fittingly presents the Burroughs-Wright Fellowship every year at the annual
conference to honor your work as the Mother and Father of the museum movement.

I remember visiting the Ebony Museum in your home with my father. Renaming the museum the DuSable Museum of African
American History was a positive and bold move. You wanted every
one to know that the city of Chicago was founded by African-American of Haitian descent.

Your energy was remarkable . You were an artist and poet .You founded a museum and art center. Your commitment to the prison
inmates was never endng. You were selfless in helping other communities start their own Black History museums,

When I moved to Chicago, you asked me to join the Board of Trustees of the museum. What an honor! I remember meeting John
Hope Franklin. Etta Moten Barnett, and Charles Duster to name a
few of the people working with you then.

When my father died you rearranged your schedule to attend the
wake, funeral, and burial, that took place over a three day period in
Detroit. My family was truly honored by your presence.

I believe we should all read your manifesto “What Shall I Tell My
Children Who are Black” and help keep your work alive.

Thank you for inspiring me and countless others to achieve at a level that honors your legacy by asking ourselves What Is Our
Legacy?

Posted by Stephanie Wright Griggs on February 25, 2011.

Add Your Comment

* Required Item