The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is celebrating February as Black History Month with a virtual workshop and a special History Happy Hour.
On Saturday, February 6, IHS and the Virtual Genealogical Association are hosting a research roundtable, “Black History is Everyone’s History.” This virtual workshop will start with a few questions about participants’ backgrounds and then dive into how Black ancestry impacts people from all walks of life. It is free and takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The virtual workshop is limited to the first 50 registrants — registration closes February 6 at 8:30 a.m. Support provided by the Robin and Charlitta Winston Family Fund for African American History.
On Thursday, February 18, IHS hosts a special History Happy Hour on “Black Literature.” This free program takes place online via Zoom from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Much of the rich heritage of literature in Indiana has been influenced by African roots. Join Nichelle Hayes from the Indianapolis Public Library to explore the writing and influence of such Black literary figures as Mari Evans, Amos Brown and Ethridge Knight. Registration closes two hours prior to the start of the program. Presented by Lake City Bank in partnership with The Center for Black Literature & Culture at the Indianapolis Public Library. Supported by the Robin and Charlitta Winston Family Fund for African American History.
In addition, Hoosiers are encouraged to help contribute to IHS’s “Project Take a Stand: Listening to the Voices of Protest” African American collecting initiative.
“From the formation of Civil Rights organizations to the creation of movements like Black Lives Matter, protests, demonstrations and uprisings have been a critical part of both Indiana and American history,” said IHS President and CEO Jody Blankenship. “Now, more than ever, it’s our responsibility to listen, learn, preserve and document these moments for us today as well as future generations. Preserving Indiana’s African American heritage is a cooperative venture, and we need everyone’s help to provide information about existing records that can be added to our library’s collections.”
If you or someone you know has letters, diaries or photographs from individuals, businesses or organizations related to African American history in Indiana, please contact Susan Hall Dotson, Coordinator of African American History at email@example.com.
Hoosiers throughout the state can also visit some of IHS’s online resources to discover more about the history and experiences of African Americans in Indiana. Access thousands of photographs, documents and publications in IHS’s Digital Collection. Explore the history of early Black settlements from around Indiana as documented through the Early African American Settlement Heritage Initiative. And time travel through hundreds of journeys in Destination Indiana, including topics such as Civil Rights, African American Education, Martin Luther King, Jr. in Indiana and more.
To register for the research roundtable or reserve your spot for the History Happy Hour, visit www.indianahistory.org.
About the Indiana Historical Society (IHS)
The Indiana Historical Society collects and preserves Indiana’s unique stories; brings Hoosiers together in remembering and sharing the past; and inspires a future grounded in our state’s uniting values and principles. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.