NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the Aug. 14, 2020 Bloomington Herald-Times.
Earlier this summer, we unveiled an important historical marker for our community as a whole, for the business community, and most importantly, for the Black business community.
In the 1960s, a business called The Black Market operated in the spot where Peoples Park is located now. Owned and run by IU grad student Rollo Turner, it was a Bloomington store celebrating Black culture, with African art, clothing, and music. It was a welcoming place for Black IU students and community members to gather.
On December 26, 1968, in a violent reaction to the civil rights movement, the Black Market was firebombed. What was one moment a thriving, locally owned business and center for Black culture became in the next moment a burning symbol of hatred and racism. The store was destroyed in the fire.
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