Understanding the history of racism in South Bend
Collection by

George Garner

Understanding the history of racism in South Bend

Assistant director of the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center

When people of European descent first came to this area, they displaced a thriving indigenous culture—the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. This act of injustice is the first of many that placed white, straight, male and able-bodied people above all others. If we are to build a truly equal and just world, we must first learn the repercussions that these historic acts have on our community today. For eight years, I have worked at the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center located in the former Natatorium, a building that symbolizes the long fight against racial injustice. I hope these resources help root you in the struggle for justice and give you a deeper understanding of today’s Black Lives Matter protests.