Wise-Up Wednesdays Presents: Blueprints In Black, Black Architects-Past Present and Future

Last month, The Dusable Museum of African American History partnered with the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial to present

“Blueprints In Black”

A panel discussion that examined the role that architects of African heritage have played in shaping architecture.

What structures and landmarks designed by architects of African heritage, do you pass or see everyday?

The panel discussion was very exciting and provided insightful information on what it’s like for those of African heritage to pursue a career in architecture today, an industry generally reserved for the elite. If we had to be honest with ourselves, I’m sure most of us can admit, hearing “I want to be an architect when I grow up, isn’t something we hear our kids say when thinking of a realistic career choice for themselves. We are part to blame.

The system works the same no matter the industry when it comes to accessibility for people of color. The service industry is the only 1 minorities tend to dominate and that’s no mere coincidence. We have resources like the Dusable museum that are available to aid in our developement and help put us on a level playing field and yet, we ignore them everyday.

The Dusable Museum makes it easier to embrace these resources by offering family memberships for $60 for whole year. Right now, for limited time only, they have a promotional offer to buy one year membership and get the price of 2 additional years free! That hardly ever happens. They want the community to get involved and in tune. They are taking drastic measures to get us to do so. These resources are in our communities for us, but we continue to sit back and watch everyone else benefit.

When we start embracing them, we are sure to see changes in what options become more obtainable to our kids. We have to continue to educate our kids outside of the schools and help them understand there’s power in knowing who they are, what their people have accomplished in the past and the many opportunities and resources that awaits them today.

Architectural historian, Carolyn Armenta Davis said it best, when it comes to systematic restrictions “too many of us get distracted by the change of language when the agendas remain the same”.

Let’s consider all we’ve gifted to the world from the beginning of time and continue to leave our building footprints in the future. Take advantage of these resources, don’t just attend and listen, interact and network with these people and ask questions about the industry. Let’s start embracing who we really are.

Panelist: 1st, International Architectural Historian: Carolyn Amenta Davis AIA. 2nd, Founder of Walter Street Architecture: Walter D. Street III. 3rd, Owner of Forms & Funktion Architecture, Rosalyn Mitchell AIA and Moderator Architectural historian, Lee Bey.

Do you have any hidden gems and or resources to share? Please feel free to do so via the comments section. For more upcoming events with the Dusable museum check out link below:




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