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Race, Migration, & Indigeneity

The inter- and multidisciplinary field of Race, Migration, & Indigeneity considers the ways in which race interweaves with historical and contemporary formations of identity

Local Black History

Each February is Black History Month, and the theme for 2023 is "Black Resistance." For this feature, we aim to highlight both historical and current movements, events, and organizations centered around Bloomington and central Indiana's Black community. The content covered in this feature include major moments in Bloomington's Black History, media and news covering local Black stories and experiences, Bloomington's organizations and resources for more information, and recommendations for taking action on racism in our community.

(ID: A black and white photo showing two Black individuals at a counter with a cash register located within the Black Market.) Photo courtesy of Indiana University Archives Photograph Collections: P0022322)

Bloomington Black History Resources:

Next Steps
If you'd like to engage more deeply with Black History Month through library resources, the IU Libraries Arts & Humanities department has created a number of resources and features to provide more holistic coverage of Black history:

Black Market Firebombing

"Early in the morning of December 26, 1968 The Black Market was firebombed, destroying the entire store.  Eyewitnesses reported seeing a white male throw a burning container through the window and driving away.  There was little doubt that the crime was racially motivated, as The Black Market was the only business attacked.  The attack caused tensions to completely boil over in the following days and weeks."


Kappa Alpha Psi

"Kappa Alpha Psi is a collegiate Greek-letter social fraternity, having been founded on January 5, 1911, at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. It is the third-oldest active Greek-letter organization established and incorporated by African American college students. The fraternity is a member of the North-American Inter-fraternity Conference, and a founding member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Kappa Alpha Psi has over 150,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters across 46 states of the United States, and seven countries internationally."


MODE (Modern Organization for Dance Evolution) and the First National Congress for Blacks in Dance

The Modern Organization for Dance Evolution or MODE is a dance organization that brought a dance conference called the First National Congress on Blacks in Dance to Indiana University Bloomington in the summer of 1973. The Congress invited over 400 notable Black dancers, choreographers, dance companies, and community members to Bloomington to celebrate Black dance and arts in connection with the Black Music Center on campus.


  • Cecelia R. Brown (1974) The First National Congress of Blacks in Dance, Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, 45:1, 71, DOI: 10.1080/00221473.1974.10614122

IU Soul Revue

"Since 1971, the IU Soul Revue is famous for dynamic performances of R&B, soul, funk, and contemporary Black popular music delivered by its commanding vocalists, powerful horn line, and tight rhythm section. Students in the IU Soul Revue learn from the best in the business—from Bootsy Collins to Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds—and perform at venues around the country. Alumni of the Soul Revue are award-winning recording artists, world-class musicians, accomplished producers and directors, and much more. IU Soul Revue is a course offered for academic credit through the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies instructed by James Strong and a unit of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs at Indiana University."


(ID: Five members of the IU Soul Revue at their Spring Concert in 1985. Photo courtesy of IU Archives Photograph Collection P0104617)

Black Centers and Organizations at Indiana University:

  • Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center
    • The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center (NMBCC), a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, strives to create and consistently facilitate activities and programming that challenges, supports, and contributes to the continued development and success of Black students within the Indiana University community.
  • Black Film Center and Archive
    • The Black Film Center & Archive is the only archival repository in the world that is wholly dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about Black people.
  • African American Art Institute 
    • The African American Arts Institute (AAAI) the nation’s only program that manages credit-bearing ensembles dedicated to the performance of black music and dance.
  • Archives of African American Music and Culture
    • At the AAAMC, you will find materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions primarily from the post-World War II era. Our collections highlight popular, religious, and classical music, with genres ranging from blues and gospel to R&B and contemporary hip hop. The AAAMC also houses extensive materials related to the documentation of black radio.
  • Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies - College of Arts and Sciences
    • Our department explores and contributes to the wide range of current research and scholarly opinion on the history, culture, and social status of black Americans and their African heritage.

Student Organizations (list by the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center):

Academic Journals

  • Indiana University Journal of Black Student Experience - created by Da'Ja'Nay Askew, The IUJBSE is a creative and scholarly publishing outlet for graduate students from all disciplines to highlight their scholarship regarding Black students and their experiences within higher education contexts.
  • The Black Scholar - Launched in the USA in 1969 The Black Scholar (TBS) is the first modern black studies and research journal
  • Journal of Black Studies - For the last half of a century, the Journal of Black Studies has been the leading source for dynamic, innovative, and creative research on the Black experience
  • Black Camera - An international scholarly film journal, Black Camera constitutes a new platform for the study and documentation of the black cinematic experience in the world.

News Stories



Major Black News Outlets Outside of Bloomington:


Oral History & Historical Films

Elizabeth Bridgewaters Oral History

"Part of an oral history interview with Elizabeth Bridgwaters done shortly before her 85th birthday in May of 1993. This is one of a series of interview Duane Busick & Michael Connor did documenting the lives of African-American senior citizens living in Bloomington, Indiana's Westside Neighborhood."


Take Action

Support Bloomington Black-Owned businesses:

How to Support Black-Owned Businesses


Beauty & Clothing/Tailoring



Taxes & Investments

Entertainment & Publishing

Mental Health & Wellness




Local Organizations to Follow: