The Bloomingtonian

Black Market historical marker placed in Peoples Park

July 31, 2020 – Bloomington, Indiana USA: An historical marker stands in the location of the Black Market firebombing location in Peoples Park, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

A historical marker with the history of the Black Market, which once stood at the site of Peoples Park, was dedicated Friday morning.

The text on the marker reads:

“Black Market Firebombing

In 1968, amidst sweeping political and social activism in the U.S., African American student Clarence “Rollo” Turner led protests against racial discrimination which were met with hostility. That fall, Turner opened the Black Market here, which sold products made in Africa or by African Americans, and acted as a cultural center for Black students at Indiana University.

On December 26, 1968, a local man with Ku Klux Klan ties firebombed the Black Market, destroying the entire store. Though it never reopened, students, faculty, and the community raised funds to cover the store’s inventory. In 1970, Indiana University students began developing the vacant lot into Peoples Park, a space for activism, recreation, and free expression.”

July 31, 2020 – Bloomington, Indiana USA: An historical marker stands in the location of the Black Market firebombing location in Peoples Park, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
July 31, 2020 – Bloomington, Indiana USA: An historical marker stands in the location of the Black Market firebombing location in Peoples Park, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
July 31, 2020 – Bloomington, Indiana USA: An historical marker stands in the location of the Black Market firebombing location in Peoples Park, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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