Mollie Ward speaks

As Willie Halbert watched scenes of chaos unfold at the U.S. Capitol, she said she was neither shocked nor surprised.

Linda Foster

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

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. 

Police on the steps
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Illinois State University Police Chief Aaron Woodruff received only light applause Monday when he told a crowd in downtown Bloomington that he condemned the Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd.

Motorcyclist at protest
Jeff Roberson / AP

The state's leading advocacy group for motorcyclists is condemning the hit-and-run that injured two people after an NAACP rally Sunday in downtown Bloomington.

A 21-year-old Bloomington man was charged Tuesday with committing a hate crime and aggravated assault after allegedly driving his motorcycle through a crowd of demonstrators on Sunday.

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.

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.