Every February, we as a nation celebrate Black History. This month, I have been thinking back, fondly, to the time that I spent with Dr. Margaret Burroughs, who along with her husband Charles, founded Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History, one of the first black history institutions in the United States.
We made a Great Museums episode featuring the DuSable Museum and later we interviewed Dr. Burroughs for a special edition of Great Museums; “Riches Rivals & Radicals,” which tells the history of museums in America.
When Dr. Burroughs died this past November at the age of 95, we lost not only a shining star of the Civil Rights Movement but also one of our country’s greatest cultural heroines.
Dr. Burroughs was an extraordinary woman who dedicated her life to building bridges between the races and to nurturing cultural pride in African Americans, particularly children.
She had been working on her mission for a long time by the time our paths crossed. She had been through a great deal of adversity and had survived into old age without losing either her passion for her cause or her sense of humor. To me, she really had an aura about her that I imagine would be like the aura you would experience around someone like Mother Teresa.
It was a joy to spend time with her and she’s one of those people whom I miss.
Watch the Great Museums episode on the DuSable Museum or excerpts featuring DuSable and Dr. Burroughs on our website. You will learn, among other things, about an extraordinary person, whose life was a testimony of hope and joy.