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Decatur Black History

Black History Month Displays

Black History Month 2020

Find out more information on some of the amazing black leaders from Decatur over the past few decades.

Black History Month 2018

Find out more information on some of the amazing black churches and church leaders from Decatur over the past few decades.

Decatur Black Leaders and Organizations

Anna Waters Head Start

Anna Waters Head Start program has been an essential child development program in Decatur for decades.

Marie Gray Baker

Marie Gray Baker was a historian and founding member of the Decatur branch of NAACP.

Caring Black Men

Caring Black Men, a mentoring program for at-risk students, was established in 2009 by Jeffrey Perkins, president of the Decatur branch of the NAACP.

William A. Harper

William A. Harper was a black artist who spent the summer of 1905 in Decatur with his father and brother.

Fred and Harry Long

Fred and Harry Long were well known athletes. Harry played mainly baseball while Fred was known for both football and basketball.

Evelyn Hood

Evelyn Hood was the founder and first president of the Decatur African-American Genealogical Society.

Longview Place

Originally built during WWII to house war plant workers, Longview Place had many decades of residents before being converted into Wabash Crossing.

Judge James B. Parsons

James B. Parsons was the first black nominated to the U.S. District Court and in 1975 was named chief judge of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of IL. Parsons Grade School was named in his honor in 1967.

Edwin D. Sheen

Edwin D. Sheen became a journalist, college professor and Chicago editor.

Hue Singleton

Samuel Huston "Hue" Singleton was the first black businessman to own a business in Decatur. He opened the Singleton Cafe in 1884 which he ran until 1921.

Vinnie's BBQ

Vinnie's BBQ is a family owned business. IL Food Systems best describes Vinnie in a newsletter. "Vinnie has a big heart. His concern for the community brings people in his door and his dedication to serving a quality product keeps them coming back."

Sheriff Roger Walker

Roger Walker was the first African-American elected to county sheriff in Illinois.