The UIC Experience

Theme Partners

Author: Lori Barcliff Baptista, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Theatre & Music

Faculty Affiliate, Museum & Exhibition Studies

Diaspora Cluster Faculty, Honors College Faculty Fellow

 

Name of Theme: African-American Cultural Center Activities

Department: African-American Cultural Center

Contact Person: Brenda Pinkett-Little or Lori Barcliff Baptista

Contact Email Address: bplittle@uic.edu or baptista@uic.edu

Dates of Events: Summer 2015 - Summer 2016

Participants: (circle) OPEN TO ALL or SPECIFIC GROUP ONLY

 

DESIGNATE LEARNING OUTCOME OF EXPERIENCE:

  • Cognitive complexity
  • Knowledge acquisition, integration, and application
  • Humanitarianism
  • Civic Engagement
  • Interpersonal and intrapersonal competence
  • Practical competence
  • Persistence and academic achievement

URBAN EXPLORATION

The AACC highlights the experience of visiting the following public landmarks, monuments and other historical sites as alternate ways of teaching and learning:

1.Visit the bust of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable at North Michigan Ave & the Chicago River. DuSable was the first settler of Chicago and the city's first black resident. Commonly referred to as "The Father of Chicago", DuSable was born in St. Marc, Haiti in 1745. He came to Chicago in the 1770's, and opened a trading post beside the Chicago River, establishing what would later become known as Chicago.

Learning outcome #2: Knowledge acquisition, integration, and application- students will be introduced to a historical figure through the conventions of sculpture and object labeling (acquisition). Students will connect historical information about people of African descent in Chicago to their experience of public art in the City center(integration). Students will gain a greater awareness of the accessibility and prevalence of art as a means of communicating historical information and the relevance of DuSable, a historical figure, to current and future Chicagoans (application).

Complete the City of Chicago's African-American History Tour:

http://webapps1.cityofchicago.org/landmarksweb/web/tourdetails.htm?touId=27

During "The Great Migration" (1916 - 1970), more than 6 million African-Americans moved from the rural south to urban areas in the North, Northeast, and West seeking better social and economic opportunities.

More than 50,000 African Americans primarily from rural Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee settled in significant numbers in Chicago's South and West side neighborhoods. The City of Chicago's African-American History tour includes a number of historic landmarks that played a significant role in the lives of African-American migrants to the City. They include: a major business district, churches, residences of civil rights leaders, and locations that were vital to the development of African-American music, theater, and journalism.

Learning outcome #2: Knowledge acquisition, integration, and application- students will be introduced to historic landmarks that mark significant African-American civic and cultural contributions (acquisition). Students will connect historical information about African-American entrepreneurs and institutions to their existing knowledge and experience with such topics (integration). Students will gain a greater awareness of the impact of these institutions and individuals upon their daily lives- especially as UIC students (application).

3.Visit Alison Saar's monument to the Great Northern Migration, located at Dr. Martin Luther King Drive & 26th Place.

Alison Saar is a highly acclaimed sculptor who employs a multicultural approach towards her work .Many of her sculptures and installations focus on themes related to the African diaspora and spirituality.

Alison Saar's bronze figure is a testament to the thousands of African Americans who migrated to Chicago in the early 20th century in search of greater freedom and opportunity. The traveler's hand is raised in salutation to his new home. In his other hand he carries a worn suitcase symbolic of his journey, dreams and talents. The bollards surrounding the monument are also suitcases that are textured with a pattern derived from the tin ceilings of the era. The figure is oriented to the north symbolizing the traveler's destination.

Learning outcome #2: Knowledge acquisition, integration, and application- students will be introduced to an artistic, sculptural work that symbolizes an important African-American historical period (acquisition). Students will connect historical information about African-American migration to their existing knowledge of such topics and their experience of public art in an area of the City with which they might not be as familiar (integration). Students will gain a greater awareness of this migration and its relationship to current and pressing social issues (application).

https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_s_publicart-alisonsaarsmonumenttothegreatnorthernmigrati.html

4.Visit Elizabeth Catlett's sculpture: "Floating Family" at the Legler Branch of the Chicago Public Library, located at 115 S. Pulaski Rd.

Elizabeth Catlett (1915 - 2012) was a graphic artist and sculptor for more than 70 years. The granddaughter of freed slaves, she is best known for her prints "Negro Woman", and "Sharecropper", which depict aspects of the African-American experience during the 20th century. Her work is influenced by African-American and Mexican women.

https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_s_publicartelizabethcatlett

Learning outcome #2: Knowledge acquisition, integration, and application - students will be introduced to an African-American artist who works in sculptural and other forms (acquisition). Students will connect historical information about a then Chicago-based, 20th century African-American female artist to their experience of public art in a public library (integration). Students will gain a greater awareness of the accessibility and prevalence of art as a means of reflecting one’s experience, sense of connection to multiple communities, traditions and artistic practices (application).

5.Visit one of the public murals in the City's in Bronzeville, Hyde Park, North Lawndale, Austin, Pullman, Roseland-Pullman, or South Chicago neighborhoods. http://www.chicagopublicartgroup.org/map.html

Learning outcome #2: Knowledge acquisition, integration, and application - students will be introduced to collaboratively produced public art projects that symbolize significant African-
American civic and cultural contributions (acquisition). Students will connect historical information about Chicago neighborhoods with particular significance for African-Americans to their existing knowledge of such topics and the experience of public art in Chicago neighborhoods with which they might not be as familiar (integration). Students will gain a greater awareness of these communities and their relationship to current and pressing social issues (application).

6.Visit the newly designated Pullman National Monument/ Pullman State Historic Site. Activities include occasional tours of the Pullman Factory Complex, The Historic Pullman Visitor Center offers information, tours and exhibits; the A Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum interprets the contributions of African-Americans to the American Labor Movement, and Arcade Park and Pullman Park are wonderful outdoor venues. https://www.nps.gov/pull/index.htm.

Learning outcome #2: Knowledge acquisition, integration, and application - students will be introduced to an historic landmarks that marks significant African-American civic and cultural
contributions (acquisition). Students will connect historical information about African-American entrepreneurs and institutions to their existing knowledge and experience with such topics (integration). Students will gain a greater awareness of the impact of these institutions and individuals upon their daily lives – especially as UIC students (application).

7.Visit the DuSable Museum of African-American History

In 1961, the late Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, her husband Charles Burroughs, Gerard Lew, Eugene Feldman, and a number of other artists and civic leaders, founded what later became the DuSable Museum; an institution dedicated to promoting understanding and inspiring appreciation of the achievements, contributions and experiences of African-Americans. The museum was originally called the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art, and occupied the first floor of the Burroughs' home at 3808 S. Michigan Ave. it was renamed for Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in 1968, and in 1973, moved to the the Chicago Park District building where it now resides. (Students admission: $5/ Chicago residents, $7/ non-residents)

Learning outcome #1: Cognitive Complexity – students will participate in action-based learning activities that engage critical thinking abilities.

Inquiring Minds

1.Attend and participate in an African-American Cultural Center workshop, lecture or public program. All AACC workshops, lectures and public programs contribute to the creation of what is described in UIC's MOSAIC plan as a "...climate of diversity and equity in which individual students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed in their identities, valued for their contributions, and feel their identities can be openly expressed wherever they live, work and study."

Learning outcome #1: Cognitive Complexity – students will participate in action-based learning activities that engage critical thinking abilities.

2.Schedule a tour of one of the African-American Cultural Center's exhibitions.

AACC exhibits thematically reflect a broad range of African- Diaspora cultural expression and experiences. Exhibit topics emerge as the result of interdisciplinary and collaborative endeavors. Many AACC exhibits are anchored in Participatory Action Research. All exhibits utilize pedagogical frameworks that promote engaged learning.

Learning outcome #1: Cognitive Complexity – students will participate in action-based learning activities that engage critical thinking abilities.

3.Attend or participate in a lecture, workshop pr public program hosted by the UIC Department of African-American Studies

Meet a faculty member, researcher, teaching artist or community activist whose work addresses issues that impact African, African-American, and African-Diaspora communities in particular ways.

Learning outcome #1: Cognitive Complexity – students will participate in action-based learning activities that engage critical thinking abilities.

4.Attend and participate in an advising, mentoring, informational session, skills workshop or activity hosted by one of the UIC Colleges, academic units, student support units, identity-based affinity groups, registered student orgs, one of the 6 Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change, or one of our campus collaborators or allies. Campus collaborators include, but are not limited to: The African-American Academic Network, Project CHANCE, TRIO, ACE, one of the Chancellor's Committees, Urban Health Program, Career Services, Student Veteran Affairs, the Heritage Garden and Sustainability Internships, Mojo's Pen, and many others.

Learning outcome#7: Persistence and academic achievement.

Community

1.Docent for one of the African-American Cultural Center exhibits.

The AACC exhibits thematically reflect a broad range of African-Diaspora cultural expressions and experiences. Exhibit topics emerge as the result of interdisciplinary and collaborative endeavors. Many AACC exhibits are anchored in Participatory Action Research. All exhibits utilize pedagogical frameworks that promote engaged learning.

Learning outcome #6: Practical Competence – in addition to developing some depth of knowledge around the particular exhibit topic, students will develop public speaking and interpersonal communication skills.

2.Volunteer for one of the African-American Cultural Center community partner organizations (link to AACC website to be provided)
Students will locate themselves within familiar and unfamiliar cultural contexts and develop amore nuanced understanding of particular issues that have the potential to either divide or
connect communities. They will also develop an awareness of their own subjectivities through how they self-identify and how others identify them.
Learning outcome #4: Civic Engagement – students will develop a sense of commitment
and responsibility to communities of practice.

3.Attend an on-campus program or event mounted in collaboration with the Chicago Cultural Alliance: https://www.chicagoculturalalliance.org/
The Chicago Cultural Alliance is a consortium of Chicago-area ethnic museums and cultural centers whose mission is to effect social change and public understanding of cultural diversity
through first voice perspectives.
Learning outcome #5: Interpersonal and intrapersonal competence – students will locate themselves within familiar and unfamiliar cultural contexts and develop a more nuanced understanding of particular issues that have the potential to either divide or connect people across communities.

4.Bring a friend with you to participate in an event hosted or co-sponsored by one of the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change.

CCUSC collaborative programming reflects the desire to engage all UIC students in activities that challenge them to Identify and cross some of their own cultural barriers. In this way, we aspire
to fulfill our collective CCUSC mission of fostering an environment that promotes cultural understanding that leads to social change.
Learning outcome #4: Civic Engagement – students will engage in activities that increase
their sense of commitment to public life through communities of practice.