Celebrating Black History

Celebrating Black History: Crispus Attucks Museum

Celebrating Black History: Crispus Attucks museum in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Black history runs deep in Indianapolis, and you’ll find much of that history inside the Crispus Attucks Museum at Crispus Attucks High School.

There’s a saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Laporsche Jymi is making sure her children remember that during their visit to the museum.

“I think it’s just a reminder that we should be learning this stuff every day,” she said.

On sight, they can recognize quite a few of the people who’ve made black history. ​But, there’s so much more to learn and they are getting quite a schooling.

“Being able to teach them about their history and in a comfortable manner. Everybody that comes here expects to hear things that’s not comfortable.”

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Historically, Crispus Attucks is said to be the first person killed during the American Revolution, and the high school and the museum bear his name.​

Museum curator Robert Chester said, “Well, this was the first all-black school in the state of Indiana. The school was the brainchild of the Ku Klux Klan; however, the Klan did not envision this.”

Inside the museum, you’ll find quite a bit about Crispus Attucks High School’s basketball-winning legacy, Indiana’s jazz legacy and Madam C.J. Walker. But, the museum curator said, the histories in here dig deep, often into a painful past.​

“Whether it is the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s, the Tuskegee Airmen of the 1940s, World War II, whether it be the military men and women of the early half of the 20th century,” Chester said of some of the exhibits.

When Gilbert Taylor first created the museum, it was more of a collection — just a few tabletop exhibits — and it fit in a room not much larger than a closet. Even though Taylor is no longer alive to see it, Chester said Taylor would be proud to see the growth. ​

On top of what you can find right now at the museum, a traveling exhibit will be coming early next month highlighting African-American surgeons.

The school and museum are at 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St.

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