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‘Streets Family Photos’ feature South Bend civil rights activists

This photograph shows Bernard, Odie, Mae, Donald, and Nancy Streets in 1960. (Photo courtesy of the Civil Rights Heritage Center)

This photograph shows Odie Mae Streets riding on a water craft in what is believed to be Venice, Italy. (Photo courtesy of the Civil Rights Heritage Center)

This photograph shows Bernard Streets Jr., with members of his family at Indiana University Bloomington's graduation ceremony. (Photo courtesy of the Civil Rights Heritage Center)

This photograph shows Dr. Bernard Streets. (Photo courtesy of the Civil Rights Heritage Center)

This photograph shows Sandy Streets at a beach. (Photo courtesy of the Civil Rights Heritage Center)


SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Photos hanging on the walls of Indiana University South Bend’s Civil Rights Heritage Center in February 1, 2019 depict a family that many will resonate with.

Vacations, living rooms, and piano seats are among the backdrops of the Streets’ family photos on display at the South Bend center.

The gallery titled “Streets Family Photos” displays just fourteen of the hundreds of photographs donated to the center by the family’s youngest daughter, Sandra Streets.

The photos begin to tell the story of Dr. Bernard and Odie Mae Streets and their family, who worked for decades to fight racial injustices in South Bend from the 1930s through the 1960s.

Archival photos also document a few South Bend chapters of betterment organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“We’re exhibiting just 14 of 200 slides that just show this one family. They went on family vacations, they had weddings, they had holidays, in addition to their activist’s role, they were a family, that lived and had all these cherished moments some of these are funny some of these are very poignant some of these are really touching and they talk about this one,” said George Garner, interim director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

Photos of the family will be on display until February 28, the final day of the nationally observed Black History Month.

The Center has additional programming throughout the month of February, including a talk with a historian, Jeff Wilkes, titled “Contested Waters,’ who will speak on the history of pool segregation throughout the entire United States.

The Civil Right Heritage Center itself used to be a segregated city swimming pool.

“We feel very strongly that the history of African Americans in our city and in order nation happened twelve months out of the year so for us every month is black history month,” Garner said.

The Civil Rights Heritage Center is located at 1040 West Washington Street in South Bend.

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