The DuSable Museum of African American History

Past Exhibits

The Substance of Things Hoped for: the Complicated and Inspired History Behind the 13th Amendment

Closed February 28, 2015

The Substance of Things Hoped for is part of a statewide commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment that includes a display on view at the DuSable Museum February, 1– 28.

FREE AT FIRST: The Audacious Journey of AACM

Closed September 6, 2015

From historic and iconic photographs to a musical soundscape inclusive of AACM founders and the newest generation . . .

Spirits of the Passage: The Story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Closed January 4, 2015

The DuSable Museum of African American History is honored to present one of the most important exhibitions it has ever displayed, “Spirits of the Passage: The Story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade,” which explores the power of the human spirit.

Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Animation Art from Classic Cartoons of ‘70s

Closed October 20, 2014

Commemorates 40th anniversaries of 1970's Saturday Morning cartoons that featured positive Black characters for the first time in history.

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil

Closed August 17, 2014

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints tells the story of how African, European and indigenous cultural traditions have interacted over a period of more than 500 years to form the distinctive culture of the largest country in South America.

Question Bridge: Black Males

Closed May 18, 2014

The Final Installment of DuSable Museum's 3 part series on Black Males in America (Previous installments included, KKK: Kin Killing Kin, and THE ENDANGERED SPECIES: A Visual Response to the Vanishing Black Man)

Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges

Closed April 6, 2014

The coming together of two groups, each the object of exclusion and hatred . . .

Fifty Years Forward—NOW EXTENDED!

Closed March 2, 2014

“Fifty Years Forward: Birmingham to Atlanta to Selma”

The Endangered Species:  A Visual Response to the Vanishing Black Man

Closed March 30, 2014

Against the backdrop of exquisite beauty, this show interrogates masculinity, sexuality, slavery, vanity, mental poverty and the futility of aspiration.


Closed September 28, 2013

The third of a series of exhibitions focused on the history and aesthetic influences of AfriCOBRA opens at the DuSable Museum.

Kin Killin’ Kin

Closed November 20, 2013

James Pate reveals a negative social reality in hopes of finding collective and positive solutions to a problem that touches us all directly or indirectly.

Word, Shout, Song: Lorenzo Dow Turner

Closed December 31, 2012

On view are rare photographs, recordings, and artifacts collected by Turner from those Gullah communities in the United States, Brazil, and West Africa.

Journey of Hope in America

Closed May 9, 2012

Journey of Hope in America: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama. Each of the works serves to educate the viewing public about the historic significance of the presidential election of 2008.

The Making of Invisible Man

Closed February 19, 2012

Explore the process of bringing this iconic story from the page to the stage with a behind-the-scenes look at the scenic design, costumes, props, music, and script.

Spread the Word! The Evolution of Gospel from Chicago to the World

Closed June 24, 2012

With Chicago being the “home” of Gospel, Spread the Word!: The Evolution of Gospel from Chicago to the World, recognizes some of the greatest Gospel singers of all time...

Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight

Closed September 25, 2011

The show will cover significant figures, events, and themes associated with African Americans in aviation and aerospace history.

For all the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Closed May 16, 2011

The exhibition is comprised of over 250 objects, including posters, photographs, graphic art, magazines, newspapers, books, pamphlets, political buttons, comic books, toys, postcards, and clips from film, newsreels, and television.

Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits

Closed March 6, 2011

The exhibition’s title was inspired by the rallying cry of celebrated abolitionists Henry Highland Garnet (1815-1882) who challenged African Americans to rise up and emancipate themselves. “Let your motto be resistance.” he exclaimed. “Resistance! Resistance! No oppressed people have ever secured their liberty without resistance!”

The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History

Closed August 6, 2010

The exhibition explores one of the 20th century’s most controversial and inspirational organizations.

Freedom’s Sisters

Closed April 4, 2010

Freedom’s Sisters, a collaboration between SITES and Cincinnati Museum Center, brings to life 20 African American women, from key 19th-century historical figures to contemporary leaders, who have fought for equality for all Americans.

Forgotten Roots: Muslims in Early America through the 20th Century

Closed December 31, 2008

Explore the impact of Muslims through this thought provoking exhibition.

Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era

Closed July 27, 2008

Soul Soldiers explores the issues, actions, reactions, and expressions of life and culture of African Americans as they were impacted by Civil Rights and the war in Vietnam.

381 Days: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Story

Closed May 20, 2007

One unyielding individual sat down to take a stand against racism. That simple act sparked 50,000 people to stand against a segregated system and force it to open its doors equally and respectfully. Those 50,000 inspired many more to continue in a fight for equality that began America’s modern civil rights era.

Chisel + Stone

Closed December 15, 2007

A selection of sculptures from the DuSable Museum collection created with simple tools from organic materials.

From Dreams to Determination: The Legacy of Doctors Percy and Anna Julian

Closed December 15, 2007

An intimate look at the lives of two leaders and their impact on society.

In the Mountains of Ethiopia

Closed October 1, 2006

A Journey Through the Lens of Father Hernandez.

Images of America: African American Voices

Closed August 13, 2006

Selections from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Darrell Walker