Indiana University Bloomington’s Segregated Student Teaching

In November 1934, administrators at Indiana University (IU) decided to stop allowing Black undergraduate students to complete their student teaching requirements at the Banneker School in Bloomington. Instead, to keep schools in Bloomington (and central Indiana) segregated, Black students were required to travel at their own expense to train at Crispus Attucks High School, the all-Black high school in Indianapolis. Jo Otremba, a graduate student and archives assistant at IU Bloomington, has identified seven Black IU students who traveled to Crispus Attucks for their student teaching. With this fellowship, Otremba will conduct further research, examining the experiences of these seven students (and potentially others) at Crispus Attucks. Otremba will use this research to explore more broadly the history of segregated schools in Indiana, especially during the 1930s and 1940s, and how segregation impacted K-12 education for Indiana’s Black community. They will also use this as a case study for how archivists and historians should search for and utilize Black stories in archives and repositories at predominantly White institutions and how these organizations can restructure records to make them more accessible.

Jo Otremba is a graduate student at Indiana University Bloomington, working toward a master’s degree in library science with a specialization in archives and records management. They serve as an arts and humanities library assistant and an archives assistant at the university and have provided instruction as a subject-matter expert for several courses. They have delivered presentations at a variety of conferences, including the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC), and received the MAC’s Mark A. Green Award for First-Time Meeting Attendees. Prior to coming to Indiana, Otremba received a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Virginia.