What will your legacy be?

Posted by Chris Wray on Mar 13, 2010 in reviews |

Recently I had the privilege of hearing the spoken talents of three great women: my wife (okay, I’m slightly biased here), my sister-in-law poet, and a 93-year-old Chicago artist, activist, and writer. What united these three ladies? A love for educating and a passion for overcoming the inequities of our society. My wife organized an event to celebrate black history month, held at the University of the Rockies, Colorado Springs on Saturday, February 27. She put together a diverse and talented group of performance artists, poets, storytellers, and educators. The event’s honored guest speaker was Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs, internationally prominent artist, educator, writer, and renowned as the founder—along with her late husband Charles Burroughs—of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois.

During the event, I was reminded how vital it is to recognize the talent and gifts that we all possess. I’ve come to realize the greatest challenge in one’s life is oneself. While self-deprecation can be an expression of modesty, chronic self-doubt is a toxic affliction. Failure to be confident in our abilities—or worse, failure to recognize our God-given talents—squanders our legacy. Yes, legacy. Dr. Burroughs spoke passionately about lasting human legacy in her poem entitled, “What will your legacy be?” The poem speaks of the great accomplishments of civil rights pioneers. By overcoming tremendous social adversity, these leaders left a lasting bridge of hope and a brighter future for generations to come.

What bridges will you build for future generations to cross over? Burroughs’ lesson is profound yet simple: Pursue your passion, do great works, and help others along the way. By applying these principles throughout our life, we can leave a rich and enduring legacy for future generations.

Listen to Dr. Burroughs’ reading her poem, “What will your legacy be?” during last month’s black history celebration.


Dr. Burrough’s biography

Transcript of “What will your legacy be?”

DuSable Museum of African American History



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