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Remembering Margaret: Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

Presented by Omni-University

"I am but one, but I am one, 

I cannot do everything;

but I can do something.

What I can do, I ought to do 

-and what I ought to do, I will do"[1]

Our current state of affairs is putting the endurance of our minds, bodies, and spirits to one of - or as some would argue - THE most vigorous trials we have ever experienced. We humans are social beings and many of us are doubtful of our ability to hold out under the unnatural conditions that continue to challenge - especially during the holiday season. Indeed, "these are the times that try men's souls."[2] The length of time that we can tolerate these conditions, while remaining right- minded and able-bodied, will depend, in large measure, on what we make of the situation. 

Not everyone agrees that "there's light at the end of the tunnel" or even that the tunnel has an end. These persons would be identified as ''Pessimists," the naysayers who can never find good in anything or anyone. In another group are the "Optimists" or "Pollyannas"[3], e.g., "motivational" speakers and elected public officials,etc., who almost never seem to see anything wrong with the status quo. But, there is an alternative to these two groups- those whom we may tentatively classify as "Realists." They are the ones who confront the facts and, while they acknowledge the severity of the dilemma, they can still see a "window of opportunity" in it .

I wouldn't choose to join either of the first groups because I recognize my mentor, ANCESTOR Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs at the helm.of the latter one. Dr. Burroughs was  not only Co- Founder of two institutions, the DuSable Museum of African American History and The South Side Community Art Center, she was also a world traveler. Should you encounter her anywhere in today's world, Dr. Burroughs would be certain to challenge your tendency to sit in judgement about everything while doing little or nothing about anything. In "What Will Your Legacy Be?"[4] she proclaimed:

"You are here, You are still here, alive and quick and you have time on your side. You have time to begin even now. So, get busy and do something to help somebody to improve the condition of life for people now and for those who come after...".

Although it's not easy to tell whether we are at the beginning, in the middle, or near the end of the tunnel, there can be no doubt that we are facing the "difficult days" foreseen by our ANCESTOR, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The very relevant lyrics of a song by Kenny Loggins, "THIS IS IT"![5], provides a wake-up call. This is not a drill. This, Brothers and Sisters, is the real deal! All hands are needed on deck! This is your opportunity to be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem. Now is your chance either to help somebody-or if you are unable to do this by yourself- to help somebody help somebody.

Hopefully, you are among those who will choose, "to improve the condition of life for people now, and for those who come after"...

and to make your life a contribution…[6]

Only you can answer the questions posed by our Beloved Ancestor, Dr. Margaret  Taylor Goss Burroughs: "What Will Your Legacy Be?" and "What Shall [We] Tell [Our] Children Who Are Black?"

Remember, "What [We] can do, [We] ought to do."

If not Now, when? If not Us, who?

We invite you to view the series of episodes  that celebrate the Life of Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs on "The H3O Art of Life" television show that began on Friday, November 3rd on CANTV @ 8:30PM and will continue each Friday through November 24th. These shows will be repeated each Sunday in November, from November 5th through November 26th, @ 3:30 PM on CAN-TV, Channel 19.

Recommended Viewing 


[1] [Ancestor] Margaret T.G.Burroughs. Life with Margaret: The Official Autobiography By Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs

[2] “The Crisis” by Thomas Paine

[3] An excessively optimistic person.

[4] “What Will Your Legacy Be?” by Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs

[5] “This Is It” Written by Kenny Loggins

[6] Op. Cit. Burroughs. "What  Will Your Legacy Be?"

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