Indiana’s minority communities share a long and proud history, a history that has provided hope and inspiration to generation after generation. Unfortunately, it is a history also marked by pain, struggle, and even bloodshed. The struggle to overcome the wrongs of the past continues as we pursue our work at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
This website will provide valuable information about the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC), its social and economic initiatives, and the State Legislature in general.
We also hope to inspire you to get involved in our efforts to bring greater social, racial and economic justice to Indiana. Each new day brings incredible opportunities to make a positive impact on our communities and our state.
This website is intended to serve as a central point of contact for encouraging this involvement—involvement that can contribute to real and lasting change in pursuit of equality and justice for all of the citizens of Indiana. Please share your suggestions about how to improve it.
One of the IBLC’s primary goals is to ensure that future generations of Hoosiers have the opportunity to build on our community’s past to make an even better future.
Please contact us if you have a suggestion about how we can make this happen.
Your involvement in this manner will yield opportunities to open and maintain lines of communication between our caucus members and those who are interested in helping us achieve our goals.
It was the desire to organize and focus the talents and energies of African-American legislators that led to the establishment of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus in 1979.Our voices represent the concerns and hopes of the citizens we serve. Since 1979, the IBLC has generated positive discussions about often-difficult subjects on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate.
And while the members of the IBLC are certainly proud of the history we share, our primary interest in doing whatever we can do today to ensure that the present will be a history of achievement in future decades.
Indiana’s African-American community has contributed much to the legislative process in our state since 1881 and before.
In 1881, the first African-American began serving as a member of the Indiana General Assembly: James Sidney Hinton—a Republican from Marion County—served in the Indiana House of Representatives for one term.
It was not until 1941 that the first African-American served in the Indiana Senate: Robert Lee Brokenburr, a prominent Marion County attorney and businessman, served in most of the legislative sessions between 1941 and 1963. Brokenburr, too, was a Republican.
The first African-American woman elected to the Indiana General Assembly was Daisy Riley Lloyd, who was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1964 as a Democrat from Marion County. Two Democrat women earned the disctinction of being the first female African-Americans to serve in the Indiana Senate. Julia Carson of Marion County and Katie Hall of Lake County moved from their Indiana House of Representatives seats to the Indiana Senate in the 1977 legislative session.
An unusual instance of legislative service by African-Americans was the relationship of Jesse Lee Dickinson; his son, Valjean Leon Dickinson; and Valjean’s wife, Mae Dickinson. Mae Dickinson served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1990 until 2008, where she was first elected in 1990. Her husband, Valjean, had served in the Indiana House for one term following the 1964 election. Valjean’s father, Jesse Lee Dickinson, served in the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate between 1943 and 1962.
Undoubtedly, the IBLC will continue working to help African-American and other minority citizens make a history of their own. While taking time to look back to acknowledge the progress of past generations, we will keep our eyes on the future—and on the prize of equality and opportunity.
The IBLC can measure its success only by the successes of those it seeks to assist. To this end, the members of the IBLC hold fast to the following principles in the effort to develop state legislation and state laws that will positively impact minority communities throughout Indiana.
Although the following principles together form our central mission, these principles are also constantly changing in response to the needs of Indiana’s citizens and the communities in which they live, work and seek to learn:
These are just a few of the most important issues we are currently studying. Many more emerge as we meet with citizens to discuss their most pressing concerns.
If you have any questions regarding the IBLC, its events or members, you can use the form below.
Alternatively, you can write or call IBLC Director Anastasia Foster using the following information:
200 W. Washington St. Rm #153
Indianapolis, IN 46204