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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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Ancestral Collage: Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs

By Dr. Gloria J. Latimore-Peace

Presented by Omni-Virtual University

"I have drunk deeply of late from the fountain of my black culture

I have sat at the knee of and learned from Mother Africa

I have discovered the truth of my heritage

The truth that has been so often obscured and omitted…."

Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs[1]

This H3O Art of Life Blog represents another effort to demonstrate my reverence for the "Mother of Black History", Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs. Her autobiography," Life with Margaret…", in addition to her other books, as well as books written about her, (See Recommended Readings)- plus what the reader may have learned from personal or other experiences- provide ample biographical facts about her life such as that her birthday is November 1st, and so on. These will not be reiterated here. However, the reader may be interested to know that her daughter, Gayle, who was also a talented artist and writer, was the mother of 4 sons whom Dr. Goss- Burroughs often took with her on her travels, according to Eleanor Chatman, her longtime friend, and Travel agent. She contributed to their college educations and gave each of them a car when they graduated. Dr. Burroughs and her husband decided to send their son, Paul, to school in the Soviet Union because Charles had received such a great education with few racial problems while living there. They wanted Paul to have the same advantages. These up-close and personal glimpses of our Queen Mother are shared by people who knew her long and well. I am privileged to say that "Yours truly" has been one of them -from my time as a student in one of Dr. Burroughs' Art classes at DuSable High School- until this very day.

Among the significant others presented in Part One of "Reflections on the Life of an Icon: Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs" is: Ancestor Atty. Lawrence E. Kennon; Dr. Carol Adams; Diane Dinkins-Carr; Prof. Robert T. Starks; and Faheem Majeed.

Featured in Part Two of "Reflections on the Life of an Icon: Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs" are: Ancestor Timuel D. Black, Jr.; Queen Mother Rev. Helen Sinclair; Eleanor Chatman; Dr. Jerome Lee, Jr; and Artist Debra Hand.

The importance of remembering and honoring our Ancestors cannot be over-emphasized especially since, as Dr. Harold Pates so incisively proclaimed, we are being "de-Ancestralized," i.e., denied access to our own true ancestors by an admixture of the theft of their identities[2]; the substitution of the ancestors of our oppressors; and the false accusation, levied by our adversaries, that paying homage to our Ancestors is "Ancestor Worship".

The extent to which we have been/are being de-Ancestralized was again brought to our attention in " Grave Injustice " a recent episode of "60 Minutes" which reported the paving over of "Negro" cemeteries in Clearwater, Florida.[3] The desecration of the "final resting places" of our Ancestors is a common enterprise that has been repeated across this nation [4]as well as everywhere else there is a profit to be made from erecting office buildings, parking lots, department stores, housing, schools, swimming pools, freeways, etc.

To heap insult onto injury, we are inundated with non-Black images and symbols. And every day we learn more of "what it means to be a captive" in this white world:

"... A place where white has been made to represent

All that is good and pure and fine and decent

Where clouds are white, and dolls, and heaven

Heaven surely is a white, white place…"[5]

Will the real "Ancestor Worshippers " please stand up?

It is imperative that we reclaim, revere, and venerate not only our Ancestors and their legacies, but also our own true identity which continues to be obscured and eroded by a litany of n-words and other false names. This means that we must devote far more than one month, annually, to the study of OurStory as preserved for us by Ancestors like Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, Ancestor Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the "Father of Black History", and the legions of others whom we shall hold in high esteem every day from this day forward.

Recommended Viewing

Recommended Readings:

Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs. "Life with Margaret: The Official Autobiography of Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs.

Dr. Mary Ann Cain. South Side Venus: The Legacy of Margaret Burroughs

Eleanor Chatman. Me and Dr. B.

Ancestor George G.M. James. Stolen Legacy

H3O Art of Life Blogs (Recommended for Future Reading)

"What Shall I Tell My Children?, Revisited" by Dr.Gloria Latimore-Peace

"Our Daily Blog #8" by Dr.Gloria Latimore-Peace

"Living Your Legacy: Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs" by Dr. Mary Ann Cain

"Dr. Margaret Burroughs: The Making of a Legacy" by Dr. Mary Ann Cain

"Remembering Margaret" by Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

"Reflections on the Life of an Icon" by Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

"Preserving Black Cultural Institutions" by Artist Debra Hand

"Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs: What Manner of Woman?" by Eleanor Chatman

"Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs: TCB" by Eleanor Chatman

"Life With Margaret: Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs", by Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

"Ancestral Collage, Part 3" by Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace


[1] "What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?"

by Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs

[2] The Black Presence in the Bible: Discovering the Black and African Identity of Biblical Person's and Nations, Teachers Editio by Rev. Dr. Walter A. McCray

[3] "60 Minutes" 555 Ep 11, November 27, 2022

[4] University of Southern Florida Archaeologist, Dr. Antoinette Jackson, African American Burial Grounds Project

[5] op. cit., "What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?..."

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