Call for "DuSable Day" a Holiday, Street & Monument for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable

Call for "DuSable Day" a Holiday, Street & Monument for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable

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Sign this petition for Chicago Mayor to correct the wrongs and give Chicago’s black founding Father, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable the respect due for over 200 years! A “City Holiday”, a Street – Columbus Drive which runs through the property where DuSable discovered Chicago started should be renamed Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive, and a major 25 feet Monument must be approved for erection in the region of DuSable Bridge/Tribune Plaza at 400 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago..

Please sign and share the petition. You may also click here to support the Monument for DuSable on our GoFund Me page.

Martin’s International Foundation, in conjunction with some 50 organizations and businesses, such as the WVON 1690 AM,  DuSable Heritage Association, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, African Global Chamber of Commerce, Star Planet TV, the State of Africa Diaspora  and the scores of  attached/below organizations and community leaders, will host a peaceful march-rally calling for a new holiday for the City of Chicago called, “DuSable Day”, a Street and a major Monument in DuSable’s honor.

The rally will take place on Independence Day, Saturday, July 4, 2020, at 12 p.m. with protesters gathering at the bust of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable/DuSable Bridge, on North Michigan Avenue near Tribune Plaza.  Marchers will walk seven blocks south on Michigan Avenue to Monroe Street, then one block east of Monroe to Columbus Drive and hear from speakers, including elected representatives, addressing DuSable, Systemic Racism and Police Abuse.  All participants/protesters will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing protocols.

Martin’s International and the other organizations will publicly propose the renaming of Columbus Drive to “DuSable Drive” during a July 4th Independence march in the honor of the city’s first permanent resident and settler, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, a Black man from Haiti who founded Chicago in 1779. The drive, which was originally named for Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus runs north-south along the lake shore and through the territory where DuSable first arrived and set-up a prosperous fur trading post and farm, which was later to become Chicago.

Since 1982, using reggae music as an art form and a vehicle of expression of the voiceless peoples of the world, for an end to apartheid, the freedom of Nelson Mandela and for freedom and democracy in the world, to the fight to end systemic racism.  The former photojournalist, Ephraim Martin - Martin’s International Foundation has been working in the forefront of the movement for more than 38 years to bring forth meaningful and equitable change to the black and other minority communities.

“As the late author and noted historian Dr. Lerone Bennett once said, the story and legacy of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable is Chicago’s best kept secret. Bennett and leaders such as the late Dr.  Margaret Taylor Burroughs, who founded the DuSable Museum advocated for proper recognition for DuSable’s many achievements.  As a result, we now have DuSable Harbor and the DuSable Bridge which were dedicated only within the last 10 years, but we cannot stop there. We must bring this long-awaited issue to the attention of Mayor Lightfoot and our city alderman to correct a historic wrong against the legacy of DuSable and members of the Black immigrant community who equally contributed their talents and hard work to Chicago’s rich history and culture,” said Ephraim Martin.” “Columbus Drive is an inaccurate appropriation of the city’s landmarks because the territory is precisely where DuSable first set foot. It simply must be renamed.

Although it is well known that DuSable, a Black man from Haiti was the first settler to discover and set up a trading post in Chicago, by the virtue of his color and nationality, he has not been given full credit and recognition while at the same time a white man, John Kinzie, who ended up acquiring DuSable’s properties has been given more notoriety.

“There are massive monuments, major streets, holidays in honor of those who oppressed Blacks in America on display throughout the Chicagoland region. Meaningful public recognition for this outstanding Black man who established this great city must also be recognized without question!”

In early Chicago history, there have been some efforts to recognize DuSable. DuSable High School opened its doors in February of 1935. The late Mr. Leslie Benodin a Haitian businessman, who sponsored a three feet bust/statue, which was designed by Mr. Erik Blome an American-born designer. The Statue is located on Michigan Avenue Bridge, which we now call DuSable Bridge, where the protesters will gather before the march.

The event calls for Mayor Lightfoot and the entire city council to move swiftly, within the next three months to set aside a day in the year for a “city holiday” in observance of DuSable, and to rename Columbus Drive which runs through the land discovered by DuSable as the Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Drive.

Organizers also want the mayor and city council to support a 25 feet Monument of DuSable to be installed by 2021. Corporations will be able to support the project through sponsorships and donations.  

Last year, July 4th weekend 2019 Ephraim Martin - Martin’s International President, dedicated the 27th annual African/Caribbean International Festival of Life (IFOL) in Chicago to mark the 400 years of Africans arrival in America during the year of 1619 and recognition of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable’s 200th birthday.

See a short video clip below from last year’s Festival of Life, with Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle speaking at the ceremony moderated by Justice Shelvin Hall of the Illinois Appellate Court, who is also the wife of Ephraim Martin.  Other speakers were: Alderman Jeanette B. Taylor, Hon. Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Court, Hon. P. Scott Neville, Illinois Supreme Court, and Judge Sharon Johnson, primary winner for Illinois Appellate Court, with greetings from Governor J. B. Pritzker, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Watch the 2019 Festival of Life on YouTube.

Now more than ever before, as the country is witnessing its biggest systemic, police abuse and systemic racial discrimination protests following the gruesome killing of George Floyd, and as the Black Lives Matter movement is in full force for change in policing, we see the removal of monuments of those who oppressed Blacks in America over the years. It is most important for monuments of some Blacks who have contributed greatly to this country to be put on display in cities where it matters.  A representative statue of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, Chicago's founding Father, welcoming one and all to our country's 3rd largest city is well overdue.

For more information to become a Monument and/or other sponsor, contact: Martin's International Foundation at www.martinsinternational.com email howaboutthatblog@gmail.com, or call 877/973-4423.

#martinsinternational, #DuSableheritageAssociation, #Dusableholiday, #Dusablestratue, #howaboutthat. 

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For press inquiries contact Valerie Hill at (312) 513-4695 – M or Vhill17211@yahoo.com.

The following organizations are supporting the Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable rally and march:

1. Martin’s International Foundation (MIF)
2. WVON AM 1690 Radio - Midway Broadcasting
3. DuSable Heritage Association
4. Star Planet TV
5. Chicago Music Foundation
6. The Caribbean Association of Midwest America,
7. UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association)
8. African Global Chamber of Commerce AGCC)
9. Figurative Art Studio LLC
10. Preservation of Belizean History and Culture
11. United Black American Progress Association
12. The Covenant Holy Sabbath Movement- USA
13. Intl House Music Hall of Fame/One House One City
14. Kinam Media Group
15. His Excellency, Jean Alexandre, Haitian Ambassador at the U.N. (Ret.)
16. Team Jamaica United   
17. Haitian American Museum of Chicago (HAMOC)
18. The Progressive Minds Show
19. Haitian American Book Club Chicago  
20. Ghana National Council
21. Jamaica4 Life Organization
22. P.O.E.T (People of Extraordinary Talent)
23. Hon. Council Charif Hachim- East Africa
24. Bantu Inc Organization
25. Music Box Foundation
26. Dominion Music Group
27. Chicago Join Hands/Taesue Entertainment
28. DJ Phantom University
29. Love, Truth and Peace Foundation
30. PHENOM Emcee Skool - Mentoring Organization
31. Projectborn Elitemind LLC.
32. The State of the African Diaspora
33. Creative Tea FDS Organization and others