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Indianapolis Recorder marks 125 years in print with mural unveiling

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Recorder is the fourth-oldest Black newspaper in American history. The founders printed the first edition 125 years ago. Now, the paper is recognizing that milestone with a new mural.

In partnership with the International Marketplace Coalition, the paper started collecting applications to select the artist who’d eventually paint the mural. Those who applied had to submit ideas that focused on unity, diversity and growth, all characteristics the paper has focused on for more than a century.

The Indianapolis Recorder’s founders wanted to provide a voice for the voiceless, which has been their mission since its creation.

“I don’t think that’s ever going to change. The Recorder has always been a part of chronicling history and speaking up for people who can’t always speak for themselves,” said paper editor Oseye Boyd.

Back in those days, African Americans’ voices were just about muted in widespread publications. So the Indianapolis Recorder opened up its pages to specifically address issues and conversations in the Black community.

“It is a good thing that the Recorder has survived, that it has been a voice for the Black community here in Indianapolis,” said Barbara Turner. Her great-grandfather, George P. Stewart, helped found the paper.

Over the years she’s seen several Black newspapers go under. The feeling of seeing her great-grandfather’s work alive is simple to put into words.

“It’s a proud moment,” she said.

That legacy of that work is now expressed artistically.

“There’s a couple of phrases that they are known for in their motto, so we wanted to make sure that we incorporated those specific sayings and phrases,” said Amiah Mims. She’s the woman who created the mural.

Out of the artists who submitted work for the Cultural Expression Through Art Mural Competition, her design won. She said considering ongoing conversations behind unity, diversity and growth, she wanted to put that conversation in the hands of the youth.

“The Black community has to live through on a daily basis so if we’re not fighting for it who else is going to do it,” she said.