Remembering a Legend


In honor of the fourth and final week of African American History Month, February 2019, we are honoring Dr. Margaret Burroughs and posting a video of her reading her poem “My Philosophy”.

A legend – even in her own time – was Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs. She was an artist, poet, writer, humanitarian, historian, educator, world traveler, visionary, and institution builder.

With her husband Charles Burroughs, she founded the now world-renowned DuSable Museum of African American History. She began this monumental achievement in 1961 by traveling to Africa, bringing back cultural and historical artifacts, displaying these in the living room of her Bronzeville home and galvanizing supporters to join her in carrying forward her vision.

Before that, at age twenty-three she founded the Chicago South Side Community Art Center which is still thriving today.

Additionally, the tireless Dr. Margaret Burroughs created her own artwork, wrote poems, essays and other non-fiction works, including her autobiography, Life with Margaret. She taught high school and college courses and regularly visited those incarcerated in Illinois prisons.

During her prison visits, she read poetry aloud to prisoners, showed African American artifacts from her travels, taught poetry, writing and art – and donated art supplies.

Dr. Burroughs’s vision was to make African American culture and history known not only to African Americans in order to inspire them to take pride in their heritage, but also to share this beautiful culture and history with people of other races in order promote understanding, appreciation, and peace.

What were the thoughts, beliefs, and philosophies of this phenomenal woman? The video we have posted will answer that question.