Governors State University to House Illinois Black Hall of Fame Inductee Display
Dr. Timuel Black will be first honoree
Governors State University has been selected to house the Illinois Black Hall of Fame (IBHOF), recently launched to pay homage to the lives and legacies of notable African Americans from Illinois.
Dr. Ceola Barnes ('75), whose vision inspired the IBHOF, said she wants honor the past, celebrate the present, and inspire the future with the hall of fame recognizing trailblazers in the areas of politics, education, culture and history.
IBHOF's first honoree will be Dr. Timuel Black, a Chicago icon who recently celebrated his 102nd birthday. Black was born into a family that was among the first wave of Blacks to leave the South and head North during the Great Migration.
A noted author, historian and civil rights activist, Black’s handwritten correspondence to Dr. Martin Luther King and labor leader A. Philip Randolph can be found in the Chicago Public Library archives.
“I hope the contributions of my more-than-100 years can help people across racial and gender lines to realize tomorrow is coming, and it can be better than today,’’ said Black during a recent virtual press conference to launch the event.
U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis and Rep. Robin Kelly were joined at the press announcement by Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, University Park Mayor Joseph Roudez and Governors State President Cheryl Green.
Barnes, the sister of Davis, is a lifelong educator who received her master’s degree in Urban Teacher Education from Governors State University in 1975 and went on to impact thousands of young lives as a celebrated educational leader in Chicago’s public schools.
"I am honored to have Governors State serve as home to this distinguished body of African Americans with Illinois connections,'' Barnes said.
Dr. Green said the university is proud to host the display of distinguished inductees.
“The Illinois Black Hall of Fame’s mission to honor the legacy of notable African Americans goes to the heart of the university’s values to recognize those who have shown resilience, self-determination, and excellence,” Green said.
“Our remarkable graduates, including Dr. Barnes, bear witness to Governors State’s mission to provide an exceptional and accessible educational experience that prepares them to innovate and lead in the global society.’’
The next event will be the virtual Juneteenth Gala on June 19, 2021. Visit the Illinois Black Hall of Fame Facebook page for updates and to watch event highlights.