observes Black History Month
By SUE WATSON
Friends of the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum and Cultural Center had lots of opportunities to celebrate dance, music, poetry, art, language, drama, folklore and films Friday and Saturday through a series of programs about African-American History.
Guest speaker for the program Friday was Margaret Burroughs, a recognized writer and artist from Chicago.
Burroughs was director of the first Black History Museum in the United States - the DuSable Museum of African-American History, opened in 1961 to recognize the first settler in Chicago.
Burroughs moved to Chicago at age 5 with family members who lived in St. Rose, Louisiana, about 25 miles from New Orleans.
With her husband Charles G. Burroughs and a group of Chicago artists and educators, the Burroughs founded the museum on Chicagos south side.
The Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art was renamed after Jean Baptist Pointe DuSable in 1968, a Haitian fur trader and the first permanent settler of Chicago.
The DuSable Museum is the oldest of its type in the U.S. and the only major independent museum in Chicago established to preserve and interpret the historical experiences and achievements of African-Americans.
Artists displaying samples of their work at the festival included Burroughs, Brian Crockett, Clifford Gipson, Dale DeBerry, Elton Collins and Ben Burt Sr.
A portion of the poem, What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black, by Margaret T. Burroughs is reprinted below with permission.
What shall I tell my children who are black of what it means to be a captive in this dark skin?
What shall I tell my dear one, fruit of my womb, of how beautiful they are when everywhere they turn they are faced with abhorrence of everything that is black....
What can I say therefore, when my child comes home in tears because a playmate has called him black, big-lipped, flatnosed and nappy headed....
What can I do to give him strength, that he may come through lifes adversities as a whole human being....
I have drunk deeply of late from the fountain of my black culture, sat at the knee and learned from Mother Africa, discovered the truth of my heritage.
The truth, so often obscured and omitted. And, I find I have much to say to my black children.
The newly renovated Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum and Cultural Center of African-American History is open Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.
The museum is located at 220 North Randolph Street in Holly Springs.
Call 662-252-3232 for tour or other information.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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