Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Barack Obama Foundation.
Since it is “now official,” the Board of Trustees and staff of the DuSable Museum of African American History are writing this letter to express our delight, support and enthusiasm for having the Obama Presidential Library take its rightful place on Chicago’s Historic South Side.
Since presidential libraries are not libraries in the traditional sense, but repositories of specific times in history, it is only fitting that the Obama Presidential Library share time and space with the DuSable Museum of African American History, our nation’s oldest repository of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent. Having the library of the nation’s first African American President as a neighbor of the nation’s first African American Museum has the potential to transform the South Side of Chicago into not only our city’s top tourist destination, but also one of the top destinations in the United States.
With the addition of the Obama Presidential Library, historians and scholars will be able to study not only the history of the first African American President through his papers and objects: The DuSable Museum’s vast archives will also afford those same historians and scholars the opportunity to study the history of the African American community.
We welcome the Obama Presidential Library and promise to do all we can to make this living tribute to the nation’s first African American President an institution the entire world will be proud of and one his legacy will reflect.
Robert D. Blackwell Sr.
President and CEO
The DuSable Museum of African American History