Petition: Rename Columbus Drive For DuSable, A Black Man

Steve Miller
June 24, 2020 - 7:56 pm
Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable

WBBM Newsradio/Rachel Pierson

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- In a time of demonstrations for “Black Lives Matter,” there’s a move to give more recognition to the black man who’s credited with founding Chicago.

A petition on change.org calls for Columbus Drive to be renamed DuSable Drive to honor Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the settler who’s recognized as the founder of Chicago in the late 1700s.

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Supporters also want a 25-foot monument to DuSable.

They are planning a rally and march for the Fourth of July.

One of the proponents is Erik Blome, the Chicago sculptor who did the bust of DuSable on the north end of the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

He also has sculpted an 8 1/2-foot tall head that is a larger version of the DuSable bust. The larger version is in blue foam right now. Blome’s plan was to do it in bronze, but COVID-19 got in the way.

“So now, I’m thinking about what I’m going to do with this blue head,” he said, laughing, “and I decided maybe the best thing is to use it to help them in their quest for a larger sculpture.”

Blome says the large DuSable head will be making its debut July 4 at the march.

Erik Blome And DuSable
Sculptor Erik Blome poses next to his giant bust of DuSable. (courtesy: Erik Blome)