Bloomington-Normal NAACP | WGLT

Bloomington-Normal NAACP

Linda Foster
MERLIN MATHER/COURTESY

On Thursday night, the Bloomington-Normal chapter of the NAACP began its monthly town hall meeting with a sobering statistic.

Students outside Normal West
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

The first day of Jasmyn Jordan’s sophomore year in high school was memorable. As she entered her history class at Normal West, she had her first racist experience.

Slide on a computer screen showing Abraham Lincoln, a proclamation, and newspaper headlines and stories
Colleen Reynlds / WGLT

An annual Juneteenth celebration was revitalized in Bloomington-Normal last year, and organizers of this year’s online event urged the nearly 100 people participating via Zoom to commit to making sure the event continues.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Both Bloomington and Normal’s mayors agree: To address systemic racism in the Twin Cities, start by investing in young people of color. 

Looters exit Target
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Recent looting in Bloomington-Normal and in many states since the death of George Floyd may have something in common with race riots of the 1960s.

Donovan G. Muldrow

“You probably don’t know this, but a broken tail light is a black man’s biggest fear.”

Around the table, people were silent as Otis Evans Jr. described what it’s like to be a black man in America. 

Woman holds her cell phone wearing tee-shirt saying More Love, Love More
Tricia Braid

Heyworth business owner Tricia Braid said she was tired of scrolling through social media feeds and seeing many people doubting the media reports about the military use of tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protestors to clear Lafayette Plaza for the president to have a photo taken with the Bible.

Allen Chambers
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The crowd at Sunday’s racial justice rally in downtown Bloomington was huge and diverse—young and old, black and brown and white, veteran activists and first-timers.

Sheriff leans into conversation with demonstrators.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

After a demonstration and injury of a marcher, dozens of demonstrators gathered Sunday night outside the McLean County sheriff's department on the west side of the Law and Justice Center in downtown Bloomington.

Demonstrations holding signs at rally
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Protesters shouted down police officials who tried to address a racial justice rally in Bloomington on Sunday, while several speakers said Bloomington-Normal is not immune from racism and that the next black man to die at the hands of a cop could happen here.

Minnesote protesters hold sign
John Minchillo / AP

As police made their first arrest in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Bloomington-Normal branch of the NAACP said it is imperative to be on the battlefield for justice.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Police chiefs for Normal, Bloomington and Illinois State University say they have not recorded any incidents of black residents being harassed for wearing masks in public.

Linda Foster
Merlin Mather / Courtesy

The Bloomington-Normal branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is speaking out against two recent high-profile killings of African Americans and calling for dialogue during a virtual town hall meeting next week.

Linda Foster
Merlin Mather / Courtesy

The president of Bloomington-Normal’s branch of the NAACP says the coronavirus is sending the community a message.

“Corona has told us: You’ve got to change,” said Linda Foster.

The early 1900s saw an influx of racism and discrimination in the Midwest, from anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, and anti-African American sentiment, to race riots in Springfield, Chicago, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Ku Klux Klan became a force in central Illinois. Segregation grew in Bloomington-Normal and what had been a thriving black middle class was gradually destroyed.

Census officials seated at table
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal NAACP is working to debunk misconceptions about the census and encourage all residents to be counted as the once-a-decade headcount moves online for the first time.

Marquell, recipient, and Carla
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

Amid continuing police-involved shootings of black Americans and renewed focus on racism at Illinois State University, two local groups have teamed up to show solidarity—and make 50 kids very, very happy.

Jamel and Willie
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

Scholarship recipients from Central Illinois on Friday will hear from a leader of color who embodies the type of success that the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Banquet wants to cultivate.

Linda Foster
Tiffani Jackson

When Linda Foster moved to Bloomington-Normal in 1977, she noticed a lack of equal opportunity for minorities. Raised in a family of visionaries and problem solvers, Foster followed the same path and made bringing change a priority by joining the NAACP.

City of Bloomington / Facebook

We’ve seen again and again what can happen when the makeup of a city’s police force doesn’t match the diversity of its residents. Many cities are trying to hire officers of color.