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Celebrating Chicago’s Black History

The Obama Presidential Center will make Jackson Park a part of presidential history. When Frederick Douglass attended the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, he made it a part of Black history. See how:

In addition to lifting up the Black history of our future home, this month we took a look at what Black history means to our neighbors here in Chicago. Whether it was a place, a person, or a memory, these stories celebrate the shared experience of Black Americans—and how those experiences have shaped our city.

For Community Leadership Corps member Olu Adeleke, the DuSable Museum of African American History was the place where he discovered his passion for art, storytelling, and community. Connecting with Black history at the museum made him feel confident and creative in Chicago: “By having access to creative spaces like DuSable, Chicago became this playground to connect with people in a meaningful way.”

Community Leadership Corps participant Oluwaseyi Adeleke takes in the warming sun with his eyes closed.

For Chicagoan and Obama Fellow Dominique Jordan Turner, she reflected on Black history amidst a busy and exciting NBA All-Star weekend. Her organization, Chicago Scholars, was selected as Team Lebron’s charity for the All-Star game, winning over $400,000! Check out her story:

Then we heard from a girl who grew up on the South Side. It wasn’t Michelle Obama this time, but educator and Obama Fellow Aimée Eubanks Davis. Aimée shared that Black History month is a time of hopefulness for the next generation: “As a girl who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, I deeply believe in this city and its people, especially its emerging leaders. My personal journey has fueled my dedication to ensuring we’re setting up our talented young people to achieve economic mobility, like I myself experienced in this great city.”

Aimée Eubanks Davis as a little girl.Aimée Eubanks Davis

We topped off our Black History month celebrations with a storytelling event we hosted with the help of our neighbors at South Shore Brew. Check out photos from the event that featured stories that celebrated Black excellence:

A young man holds a mic and speaks to the audience. An elderly woman laughs as she speaks to a crowd.

Black History month isn’t just about the past; it’s about creating a more equitable future. We’re deeply inspired by our community and leaders like Olu, Dominique, and Aimee who are doing their part to create that future today.

Help us make history, again. Donate today to help us bring the Obama Presidential Center to Jackson Park.


Manon Murray is a Senior Editorial Associate at the Obama Foundation.

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