University Park, IL,
12:05 PM

Black Hall Of Fame to Amplify Southland

Opinion by U.S. Rep Robin Kelly, 2nd Congressional District

It was an honor to take part in the launch of the Illinois Black Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in February, and I look forward to the first ceremony on June 19, 2021.

I am thankful to Dr. Cheryl Green, President of Governors State University, for partnering with the IBHOF to provide a home for this shrine to African American achievement and excellence. I also commend Dr. Ceola Barnes, who first envisioned a gallery of African American heroes.

The IBHOF is an idea whose time has come. In times like these, it’s vitally important that we honor the past, celebrate the present and inspire future generations. I believe that the partnership between Governors State and the IBHOF will amplify the Southland and inspire all those who enter and learn about these exceptional leaders.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame’s will be Dr. Timuel Black, an accomplished historian, activist, husband, and leader in Illinois. During the upcoming virtual Gala on Juneteenth, the Hall of Fame will induct more distinguished African American leaders from the past and present. There are so many to choose from, so many accomplished men and women who have made lasting contributions to American history, culture, science, civil rights and social progress. More importantly, the museum will illuminate the compelling, overriding story of the African American experience: Hope and triumph against all odds.

I believe this is only beginning. Like the Pullman National Monument and the Obama Presidential Center, the Illinois Black Hall of Fame has the potential of becoming another landmark destination in the Second District that will draw visitors from around the state and the nation.

Thank you again to Dr. Green and Governors State University for realizing the importance and value of a Black Hall of Fame and offering it a home. I look forward to watching the museum flower over time, as it offers future generations a legacy of African American achievement.

I look forward to see you on June 19. Meanwhile, please visit the IBHOF Facebook page for updates.