Activism comes in many forms, be it political, educational, or social. Less often though, do people perceive historical
activism in such conversations. Dr. Ian Rocksborough-Smith
’s new book: Black Public History in Chicago: Civil Rights Activism From World War II Into the Cold War
(University of Illinois Press, 2018) puts the activist function front and center. Black Chicago has been heavily studied over the last hundred years, but Black Public History in Chicago
tells the story of how Black Chicagoans like Margaret and Charles Burroughs, William Stratton, Madeline Stratton Morris, and many others used Black Public History within the museum and educational contexts as mechanisms for positive change in the Windy City. By centering this story, readers see how important their activism was to the founding of the DuSable Museum of African American History and the public consciousness raising effects of telling the radical revisionist historical stories of those of the African Diaspora to those in the Black Metropolis at large.
Adam McNeil is a PhD student in History, African American Public Humanities Initiative and Colored Conventions Project Fellow at the University of Delaware. He can be reached on Twitter @CulturedModesty.