Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0025
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Full Text of HJR0025  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois General Assembly are
3saddened to learn of the death of Susan Cayton Woodson of
4Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, who passed away on January
531, 2013; and
6    WHEREAS, Susan Cayton Woodson was born on October 16, 1918,
7in Seattle, Washington; as her mother died when she was just
8one year old, she was raised by her maternal grandparents,
9Horace Roscoe Cayton, Sr., and Susie Revels Cayton; and
10    WHEREAS, Susan Cayton Woodson was very conscious of her
11heritage and worked hard to honor her ancestors in her life's
12work; her great-grandfather, Hiram Rhodes Revels, made history
13in 1870 in Reconstruction Mississippi when he was elected the
14country's first African-American U.S. Senator and later became
15the first president of Alcorn State University in Mississippi;
16her maternal grandmother was a suffragette and union activist
17and her maternal grandfather published the Seattle Republican,
18the city's first black newspaper; and
19    WHEREAS, The Caytons passed on their strong work ethic to
20their children and granddaughter; Susan Cayton Woodson's aunt,
21Madge, was one of the first black women to graduate from the
22University of Washington; her uncle, Horace, Jr., served as



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1director of Chicago's Parkway Community House, a
2social-service center in Bronzeville, and co-authored the 1945
3book Black Metropolis; her uncle, Revels Cayton, was a
4prominent labor and civil rights activist in San Francisco; her
5aunt, Lillie, became a counselor and spokesperson for
6Alcoholics Anonymous throughout the West Coast; and
7    WHEREAS, Following her grandfather's death in 1940, Susan
8Cayton moved to Chicago; she was entrusted for the long drive
9to Paul Robeson, a close family friend; she worked a
10switchboard at Parkway Community House and became involved in
11the Chicago Renaissance when black artists like Gwendolyn
12Brooks, Margaret Walker, Charles Wilbert White, and Richmond
13Barthe produced their early works; she counted among her
14friends such leading African-American cultural and political
15figures as Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Gordon Parks,
16William Carter, Eldzier Cortor, Charles Sebree, Elizabeth
17Catlett, and Irene Clark; and
18    WHEREAS, Susan Cayton Woodson and Chicago businessman and
19chemist Harold Woodson were married in 1949; the couple raised
20a family together; and
21    WHEREAS, Susan Cayton Woodson was an avid collector of
22African-American art; her home became the site of the Susan C.
23Woodson Gallery of Chicago, which she created to allow her to



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1remain at home to care for her ailing husband; the gallery
2became the preeminent and internationally acclaimed collection
3of the Chicago Renaissance; and
4    WHEREAS, For more than three decades, Susan Cayton Woodson
5was one of the most devoted supporters of the Chicago Public
6Library's Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection; in 1983, she
7donated the Horace Cayton papers; in 1988, she organized the
8visual arts exhibit and programming for the first-ever exhibit
9on the Chicago Black Renaissance; the following year, she
10donated her own papers and those of her husband; she also
11served on the Board of the South Side Community Art Center for
12almost 40 years and, when they offered her the chance to take
13emeritus status, she insisted on remaining a working member of
14the Board; and
15    WHEREAS, Susan Cayton Woodson was preceded in death by her
16loving husband of 48 years, the late Harold W. Woodson; and
17    WHEREAS, Susan Cayton Woodson is survived by her son,
18Harold W. Woodson, Jr., (Virginia); her stepdaughter, Eleanor
19Kamuda; her grandson, Charles J. Woodson; her granddaughters,
20Melissa Waldon-Ongley (Ryan Stephen) and Meredith Kamuda; her
21great-granddaughter, Marley Rose Meanie; her nieces, Madge
22Cayton and Susie Cayton; her nephews, Leroy Revels Cayton and
23Richard Rice; her grandson-in-love, William K. Gilchrist; and



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1her daughters-in-love, Jan Spivey Gilchrist (Kelvin) and
2Derise Tolliver (Osofo); therefore, be it
5SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we mourn, along with her family
6and friends, the passing of Susan Cayton Woodson; and be it
8    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
9presented to the family of Susan Cayton Woodson as a symbol of
10our deep sympathy and great esteem.