Relocate Chicago Blues Museum to Bronzeville
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Chicago Blues will soon have a museum to tell its story. The museum will be called the Chicago Blues Experience and it's set to open in 2019. While I support the museum and it's mission, I cannot support its location. The site selected is in the heart of downtown Chicago, to some this may seem ideal and centrally located, however, the area where Chicago Blues has its roots is alive and well. Bronzeville is where this establishment should be. The first blues clubs in Chicago were mostly in predominantly black neighborhoods on the South Side. The Checkerboard Lounge, home of the blues, once owned by Buddy Guy was located in Bronzeville. Blues legend Muddy Waters home is in Bronzeville. The city of Chicago created a blues district in Bronzeville. According to the museum's president, Terry Stewart, the story of how blues music traveled to Chicago via the Great Migration in the early half of the 20th Century will be told. Why not tell this important story in its authentic context? Bronzeville is where blacks who migrated from the south to the north settled in Chicago. Stewart also stated the museum will have a re-creation of Chess Studios. Why is there a need to re-create what is already existing? Chess Records still stands today at 2120 S. Michigan Ave., it's home to the Blues Heaven Foundation. Stewart says there is a need for a Chicago Blues museum I wholeheartedly agree, but its place is in Bronzeville. This is another example of cultural appropriation. Chicago Blues did not originate in Chicago's Loop. It originated on the South and West sides of Chicago among its African-American citizens.
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