History of DuSable Museum of African American History

History of DuSable Museum of African American History

After a relaxing ride on one of Shoreline Sightseeing’s Chicago Architectural boat tours, there are few better ways to enjoy the culture and history of Chicago than through one of its many excellent museums. High on that list is the DuSable Museum of African American History on the south side of Chicago near the campus of the University of Chicago.


DuSable Museum of African American History

Originally chartered in 1961 as the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art, the facility was the brainchild of Margaret and Charles Burroughs. It is dedicated to the celebration of African American art and culture often overlooked by most of the organizations of the day. It did this and more by becoming a social club, educational resource, and gathering place for social activists seeking change.

Initially housed in the Burroughs’ home on Michigan Avenue, which is now a Chicago Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum relocated in the 1970s to a vacant administration building donated by the Chicago Park District in the Washington Park community.


In the 1990s, the building was expanded, adding a new 25,000 square foot wing that acts as a center for various community events. It includes a 466-seat auditorium where cultural events like concerts, poetry readings, and film screenings are held. The original north entrance of the museum contains a one-of-a-kind Thomas Miller mosaic honoring the founders of the museum and their legacy to the city of Chicago.


The museum is home to more than 13,000 artifacts, including books, photographs, art, and memorabilia, as well as relics dating before the abolition of slavery up until modern times. Works from prominent authors and artists such as W.E.B. Dubois, Langston Hughes, and St. Clair Drake, as well as selections from the South Side Community Art Center, are on display for public viewing. The museum also houses an extensive research library that contains books and records that sheds light on African and African American contributions to American history.

Explore the DuSable Museum after Your Next Shoreline Sightseeing Chicago Architectural Boat Cruise

What better way is there to experience the culture of Chicago than to take in one of Shoreline Sightseeing’s Chicago Architecture Tours, followed by a visit to the DuSable Museum of African American History? View our schedule, and plan your next visit to Chicago today.