The Founding of Chicago articulates powerful ideas about the often uncelebrated role of African Americans in the building of American cities. Chicago is a particularly interesting example because it was founded by a fur trader from Haiti, Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable. He is portrayed here with a shovel and coonskin cap, emerging from a rural setting with an enchained mother and her baby. Architectural emblems rise in the distance symbolizing the promise and the future of urban life in the North.


  • Title: The Founding of Chicago
  • Creator: Aaron Douglas
  • Date Created: circa 1933
  • Physical Dimensions: Image Dimensions Height/Width: 37.47 x 31.43 cm, Image Dimensions Height/Width: 14 3/4 x 12 3/8 in
  • Type: paintings
  • Medium: gouache on paper board

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