Racism | WGLT

Racism

Brandon Thornton
Lyndsie Schlink

Brandon Thornton is a teacher at Bloomington High School and is a graduate student (B.S. '11, M.S. '16, Ed.D '22) at Illinois State University.

He spoke with Darnysha Mitchell for the WGLT series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

Janine Peacher is a professor at Lincoln College. This year, she became the first tenured Black professor at the college.

She spoke with Darnysha Mitchell for the WGLT series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

Karyn and Chemberly
Staff / WGLT

Mayor Chris Koos said he plans to arrange a meeting with Black Lives Matter BloNo leadership so they can lay out any specific concerns with the Normal Police Department.

Emancipation Memorial at Lincoln Park
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

At a time when America is reckoning with much of its racist past, a historian says museums show that many historical figures were flawed people.

Bloomington native Dashea Crockett is a leader at Illinois State University's Impact Ministry, a Grayslake North High School graduate, and community activist with the Next Gen Initiative group. John Findley, Dashea's grandfather, has called Bloomington home after living on a farm with his family in Tupelo, Mississippi, and coming north during the Great Migration. 

They spoke with student reporter Darnysha Mitchell for WGLT's series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

Jayana Fennell and father Louis Fennell Jr.
Jon Norton / WGLT

Bloomington native Jayana Fennell is a Normal Community West High School graduate. She’s currently a junior telecommunications major for video production at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She’s also minoring in French. She spoke with Jon Norton for WGLT's series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

Christopher Belt with son Louis
Jon Norton / WGLT

Christopher Belt is an English teacher at Normal Community High School. The Normal native spoke with Jon Norton for the WGLT series Living Black in Bloomington-NormalContact us if you'd like to be featured in the series.

Byron Craig
Facebook

As violent images of the recent deaths of black citizens proliferate the media, some scholars and activists sense an opportunity to pursue lasting change.

People marching with signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

After weeks of protesting for justice for black lives lost at the hands of police, commemorating the day that ended slavery meant a little more this year than others for some.

Grid of commissioners
YouTube

The Normal Human Relations Commission met this week to deliberate on how to make positive changes within the community.

William speaks to a man
Ryan Denham / WGLT

With churches partially closed, social distancing still the norm, and racism becoming bolder by the day, maintaining a sound mind during a season of pain can be difficult for some.

Raised fist
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal police leaders say many of the reforms being proposed nationally in the wake of George Floyd’s death have already happened here, including a ban on chokeholds and increased emphasis on de-escalation training.

Crowds holding signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

More than 200 protesters gathered Monday night at Clearwater Park in east Bloomington and marched through nearby neighborhoods to speak out against racism.

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.

Holding up signs
Breanna Grow

For Ky Ajayi, it hasn’t just been a long week. It’s been a long three years.

Jeremy Butler
Courtesy

Whether you work in an office, drive a forklift or teach kindergarten, the more confident you are in your training, the better you’ll perform. Confidence can make it more likely you’ll try harder or conquer adversity. A lack of confidence can make you skittish and impair decision-making.

It’s the same with police officers.

Justin speaks
Darnysha Mitchell / WGLT

A peaceful demonstration led in part by high school students was interrupted Wednesday when an agitator deployed what authorities called a harmless “smoke device,” in at least the second attempt to intimidate protestors in the past four days.

Justin and Jasmyn
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal organizers are looking to build on the momentum of four straight days of peaceful demonstrations against racism and police brutality. One of their greatest assets is a deep bench of young black leaders who have seized the moment and stepped forward.

Crowd marches
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Whenever an unarmed black man is shot in America, Ahmad Williams of Bloomington thinks about whether he will be next.

Demonstrators hold signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

More than 50 people marched through some of Bloomington’s more affluent neighborhoods Monday calling for justice and unity in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis.

Cindy Le / WGLT

Normal City Council member Chemberly Cummings took the opportunity Monday night to shed a light on the toll of racism, one night after looters ransacked several retail stores in town.

Cummings said earlier peaceful protests and the following civil unrest left some members of the community feeling courageous and hopeful and others worried and fearful.

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.

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.

Bloomington police stand guard
McLean County Museum of History

Local history can be light. A barbershop that has been in business for 90 years. That time a sitting president stopped in town and had breakfast at a diner.

Miltonette Craig speaks
Mary Cullen / WGLT

The Town of Normal is in the middle of its first annual Daring Diversity: A Racial Equity Summit. Day 1 of the conference included speakers who defined and traced the roots of racism.

An Illinois study of racial profiling in police stops is set to expire in July. State lawmakers are considering whether to keep collecting data.

Research shows African-Americans are less likely to access treatment for mental illness.

Cultural norms and the stigma associated with having a mental illness are partly to blame, according to Shardé Smith, assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

McHistory: Bloomington-Normal Under Jim Crow Law

Feb 16, 2019
Lue Anna Brown Sanders Clark
McLean County Museum of History

In the era of Jim Crow laws, enforced racial segregation kept blacks and whites separate at restaurants, in bathrooms, and in education.

Joe Ricketts
Nati Harnik / AP

The patriarch of the family behind the Chicago Cubs has apologized after an online media outlet published emails in which he took part in racist comments and conspiracy theories.

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