By Frederick H. Lowe
Chance the Rapper has been named a trustee of the DuSable Museum of African American History, which was founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Burroughs, her husband, Charles Burroughs, and others in the living room of the Burroughs’ home on Chicago’s South Side.
Chance the Rapper, whose given name is Chancelor Bennett, joined museum’s board with his father, Ken Bennett. Father and son are Chicago residents. Chance is 23.
Although rappers have rough- and-tumble images, sometimes of their own making with ample help from the media, Chance’s father is a former aide to President Barack Obama. He is currently senior advisor of policy and community affairs at Choose Chicago; Choose Chicago is the official destination-marketing organization for Chicago. For example, The Notorious B.I. G. or Biggie Smalls had a reputation for being a drug dealer and a killer. In reality, he bagged groceries at a local supermarket managed by a childhood-friend. Biggie Smalls (Christopher Wallace) also attended private schools and his mother lived in a gated community.
In addition to Bennett, the elder, and Bennett, the younger, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, M.D. , Wilbur Milhouse, III, founder and president of Milhouse Engineering and Construction, and Lisa Pilot Livingston, CEO of LCP Management Inc., which has built properties in Hyde Park, Kenwood and Bronzeville on Chicago’s South Side, have joined the board.
The new trustees join the 17 who currently are members. One member is William S. Cohen, former Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton. Cohen, a Republican, is also a former U. S. Senator from Maine.
Joyce Johnson-Miller, president of Quadrum Global, a private equity and investment firm focused on real estate, will serve as chairperson of the board of trustees, having been elected to the position on Nov. 21.
Museum will be near President Obama’s Library
Crain’s Chicago Business called the new board members, part of a shakeup designed to increase the museum’s presence before President Barack Obama’s Presidential Library opens nearby in 2021.
Chance the Rapper, who appears in television commercials, was nominated for seven Grammys in 2016. The nominations include Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for “Coloring Book.” Last year, he was named “Chicagoan of the Year” by Chicago magazine for combating gun violence and promoting racial justice in Chicago and nationwide.
Museum is named in honor of Chicago’s black founder
The DuSable Museum, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, African-American history museum in the U.S., is named in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a Haitian of African and French descent, who in 1779 established the trading post and permanent settlement which would become known as Chicago, where no major city street has ever been named in his honor.
DuSable’s trading post, which was located near the Chicago River, is now called Pioneer Court and is not far from the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.