This event is at Central Library. Free tickets are available at Central Library beginning at 5 p.m. on the day of the event. Limited advanced tickets with a purchase of a Brian Selznick book are available at Kids Ink Bookstore, 5619 N. Illinois St. Questions? Call Central Library 275-4100.
The Indianapolis Public Library has a digital collection full of digital images that will give you a good look at black history in America and right here in Indiana. These items are the real thing. The collection includes photographs, photographs of artifacts and documents which would be great resources for school reports.
Free Soil Banner – The Free Soil Banner was a newspaper published in Indianapolis from 1848 to 1854 published by the Free Soil Party. The main plank in the Party’s platform was that slavery should not be extended to the territories newly gained in the war with Mexico, but should be “free soil”, worked by free (as opposed to slave) labor. They stopped short at advocating the abolition of slavery, preferring to contain it to the areas where it was already allowed, believing that it would eventually die out. “Free soil, free speech, free labor, free men.”
African American Firefighters – On May 19, 1876 Fire Chief W. O. Sherwood appointed the first black men to the Indianapolis Fire Department on Hose Company 9, located at 31 West Saint Joseph Street. This station, eventually renumbered as Station 1 and relocated to 441 Indiana Avenue, grew to become an all-black double company firehouse, with approximately 24 firefighters who rotated through two 24-hour shifts.
Black firefighters remained segregated from the rest of the Fire Department until the practice was officially ended on Jan. 1, 1960. Hired before integration in 1955, Joseph Kimbrew became the first black Fire Chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department on January 19, 1987.
The Indianapolis Postcard Collection – This postcard is a photo of the 1943 Negro League Indianapolis Clowns. The postcard collection is a great resource for Indianapolis history, especially if you have to know about a landmark in the city. The collection is mostly made up of postcards of buildings, but I didn’t want to miss pointing out this one. For more information about the negro leagues and black athletes take a look at Black History: Athletes. Especially don’t miss We Are the Ship by Kadir Nelson.