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Angela Buchman learns history of Indy's Senate Avenue YMCA

The Senate Avenue YMCA was a center for the Indianapolis Black community to get together and learn from each other and grow.

INDIANAPOLIS — On the one of the coldest days this winter, we joined Sampson Levingston on a walking tour for Black History Month.

Once Sampson started to talk, I totally forgot about the cold. My location on our tour was the Senate Avenue YMCA. It became a branch of the YMCA in 1910 and was one of the largest black YMCAs in the country.

This YMCA was a center for the Black community to get together and learn from each other and grow. What stood out to me were the "Monster Meetings" that brought leaders from the community and around the nation to Indianapolis to speak.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt were just a couple that came to speak. During our conversation I asked Sampson if there was a chance to bring back the "Monster Meeting," and he said yes.

In fact, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis puts on the Monster Meeting Series each year. The organization invites guests to speak with a focus on racial reconciliation in Indianapolis and beyond.

On Sunday, Feb. 27, author and professor Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, will speak at the OrthoIndy YMCA. To register, click here.

RELATED: Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, to speak at YMCA lecture series in Indianapolis

I really think this would be a great way to connect our community and give our youth opportunities to see and hear from leaders in government, industry and education.

I was moved by the tour — moved to learn more and to bring my family downtown to learn too.

This was just one stop on WTHR's Black history tour of Indianapolis. Tour guide Sampson Levingston led our anchor team around the city to teach them about the many historic sites that played integral roles in Indianapolis' Black community. Follow along through the month of February to learn about them. Click here to see the other tour stops.


MORE: Ransom Place neighborhood highlights rich history of Indy's Black community

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