Friday, July 20, 2007

Black Expo

The dogs, the socks, and I are in Indianapolis for the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration. My official reason for going is to volunteer at the Indiana Historical Society's booth, but I'm really there because it's lots of fun. You don't have to be Jewish to do Jewish Studies, and you don't have to be Black to go to Black Expo!

This year's highlight was the display of the Colts' Vince Lombardi Trophy from this year's Super Bowl. A nice volunteer took my picture with the trophy while two burly guys in dark suits hovered in the background. Notice there's a hole in top of the display case. That's so you can reach inside and touch it. I did, and it felt pretty good.

Indiana's other professional team wasn't left out - Boomer, the Indiana Pacers' mascot, came by to shake hands and hold the sock. It's a little hard to see, since he and the sock are the same color, but it's there. He even mimed a little knitting, although his paws were probably much to big for any actual stitches.

Here was another cool part - the food court was on the floor of the Hoosier Dome. The food wasn't good, but the location was great - I've never seen the dome like this before. It's going to be sad to see it go.

And I didn't leave out the Historical Society. Our own exhibit was on Martin Luther King and civil rights protests in Indiana. There were several nice letters between King and local activists, and some more general information. I spent three hours giving away posters and encouraging people to see the exhibit.

There's all sorts of other cool stuff at Black Expo. There was a really interesting exhibit of prints by Nelson Mandela. The Indianapolis Museum of Art had a lovely collection, and the Indiana State Museum showed off Civil War soldiers and a black aviatrix. The Eiteljorg Museum was previewing an exhibit about black singing cowboys.

Then there's the free stuff. I'm not posting a picture, because there's really too much to show. But the free stuff is great. The Black and Minority Health Fair offers free health screenings, and lots of goodies from drug companies. The Consumer Fair features everything from schools to sports to businesses, many of them offering nifty stuff. I have a handful of stress balls, more pens than you can shake a stick at, several nice bags, and enough temporary tattoos to join the circus. I love the free stuff.

They shut down at 10:00, and as I walked back to my car they were shooting of fireworks at Victory Field to celebrate the Indians' win. Then it's off to pick up the new Harry Potter book. How's that for a perfect ending to a day?


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