African Americans have a long and rich history in the state of Indiana. The first report of African Americans living in what is now Indiana dates back to 1746, when a report on French settlements noted that forty white men and five black slaves lived in Vincennes, on the Wabash River. During the French and English occupations, the French who lived in the area continued to keep slaves. The United States Congress passed the Ordinance of 1787 to govern the new Western Territory, which prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude in the Northwest Territory.
This ordinance was a major step forward for African Americans living in Indiana. In 1957, Indiana announced plans to build an interstate highway through the center of the Indiana Avenue neighborhoods in Indianapolis. This plan was met with prejudice and discrimination from some members of the community. This prejudice culminated in Article XIII of the Indiana Constitution of 1851, which stated that no black or mulatto would enter or settle in the state after the adoption of this Constitution.
The effects of the Constitution of 1816 and the Indiana Supreme Court rulings in favor of blacks in the following decades slowly eliminated slavery and indentured servitude in Indiana. This allowed African Americans to live freely and without fear of discrimination or persecution. Today, African Americans are an integral part of Indiana's culture and economy. Geodemographic Analyst at the Indiana Business Research Center at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is just one example of how African Americans are contributing to the state's success.
Leave a Comment