Indianapolis has long been steeped in important moments in African American history, from businesswoman Madame C. J. Walker's success to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan to the founding of Crispus Attucks High School, which remained segregated through the 1960s.
In African Americans in Indianapolis, author and historian David Leander Williams explores this history by examining the daunting and horrendous historical events African Americans living in Indianapolis encountered between 1820 and 1970, as well as the community's determination to overcome these challenges. Revealing many events that have yet to be recorded in history books, textbooks, or literature, Williams chronicles the lives and careers of many influential individuals and the organizations that worked tirelessly to open doors of opportunity to the entire African American community.
African Americans in Indianapolis serves as a reminder of the advancements that Black midwestern ancestors made toward freedom and equality, as well as the continual struggle against inequalities that must be overcome.
David Leander Williams is author of Indianapolis African-American History; Indianapolis Jazz: The Masters, Legends and Legacy of Indiana Avenue; and Indianapolis Rhythm and Blues. He has also written articles dealing with Indianapolis African American history for African Americans in Indianapolis and Traces Magazine / The Indiana Historical Society. In his free time Williams collects memorabilia, historical artifacts, and information about African American history, particularly slavery and African American music history. Williams received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State University and Master of Arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is currently based in Indianapolis, Indiana.