Margaret Taylor Burroughs

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Margaret Taylor Burroughs
November 1, 1917 – November 21, 2010
First Unitarian Church of Chicago

  • Born in St. Rose, Louisiana; moved to Chicago with family in 1920 as a young child
  • Attended Englewood High School; classmates with Gwendolyn Brooks; joined NAACP Youth Council
  • Received Bachelor of Arts (1946) and Master of Arts (1948) from School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Co-founded DuSable Museum of African American History in 1961 (originally named The Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art)
  • Founded Chicago’s Lake Meadows Art Fair
  • Taught at DuSable High School, Kennedy-King College, and Elmhurst College
  • Appointed Chicago Park District commissioner in 1985 by Mayor Harold Washington; served for 25 years; 31st Street Beach was renamed Margaret Taylor Burroughs Beach in her honor in 2015
  • Created many original works of art and literature influenced by W.E.B. DuBois, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth including What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?
  • Created many art pieces depicting the struggles of society related to race relations, including The Birthday Party and The Faces of My People
  • Awarded the President’s Humanitarian Award (1975), Paul Robeson Award (1985) and numerous awards for achievements in the arts
  • Represented in a mural by Kerry James Marshall on the Chicago Cultural Center building’s Garland Court facade along with Oprah Winfrey and Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Designation of Chicago Landmark conferred on her Michigan Avenue home and DuSable Museum buildings