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Indianapolis celebrates Madam Walker Memorial Way street dedication

Madam Walker memorial way street dedication

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Friday, the Indianapolis community celebrated the Madam Walker Memorial Way unveiling on the iconic Indiana Avenue.

It’s all part of a new revitalization plan for the Madam Walker Legacy Center.

Eunice Trotter, director of the Indiana Landmarks’ Black Heritage Preservation Program, said, “It is extremely significant to the history of not only black Indianapolis but Indianapolis.”

It’s a crown jewel of Indiana Avenue.

Trotter said, “It is one of the last remaining physical spaces that tell the story of Black Indianapolis.”

The almost 100-year-old center has been recognized with a Madam Walker Memorial Way street dedication. This comes after the organization announced it’s officially debt-free, making way for its much-needed endowment.

Trotter says the street dedication will help maintain the legacy of Madam CJ Walker for generations to come. “It’s just a site of significant Black heritage that I don’t think we’ll be able to replace in our lifetime.”

It’s also an opportunity to honor the enduring legacy of Madam CJ Walker, an African-American businesswoman, philanthropist and activist.

Leslie Etienne, director of the Africana Studies Program and associate professor at IUPUI, said, “We have to recognize how we find ourselves with a Madam Walker Legacy Center and also understanding the context of the country at the time that would have been an epitome for her to found this theatre.”

Earlier this month, the Indianapolis City-County Council approved the landmark making way for new opportunities. Council member Maggie Lewis said, “Proposal No. 265 designates a portion of Indiana Avenue to Senate Avenue to Blackford Street as Madam Walker Memorial Way the proposal passed out of committee by a vote of 8-0.”