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Andrew ‘Bo’ Foster to receive dedicated historical marker in Indianapolis

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A dedication ceremony for a new state historical marker commemorating Andrew “Bo” Foster, civil rights leader, will be held on July 8.

The dedication takes place at noon outside the Hamilton Center, located at 2160 North Illinois St. The marker will be located at the southwest corner of Illinois Street and Foster Place, and parking is available in the Hamilton Center lot.

Foster was an entrepreneur and WWII veteran born and raised in Indianapolis. He founded a prosperous trucking company in the 1940s, which allowed him to open and manage several businesses that served Black patrons in the segregated city until the 1980s.

Some of Foster’s ventures included the Foster Hotel and Foster Motor Lodge, originally located at 2154 North Illinois St. The lodge housed famous guest Muhammad Ali. Foster also opened Pearl’s Lounge in 1970, a venue for political fundraisers, community gatherings and NAACP events.

A postcard featuring Foster Hotel & Motor Lodge (Photo provided/Indiana Album)

As a leader in the National Business League and Midwest National Bank, Foster mentored Black business owners and helped them acquire grants. In recognition of his civic contributions, Governor Orr awarded him the Sagamore of the Wabash in 1982.

The public is invited to attend the dedication, which honors Foster’s efforts to provide safe spaces for Black Americans in Indianapolis. Foster’s businesses accommodated visitors to the city and served as a hub for community gatherings. This marker is one of over 100 that have been installed in Marion County.

Andrew "Bo" Foster
Andrew “Bo” Foster (Far right in white) alongside Former Senator Dick Lugar and other prominent community figures in Indiana. (Photo provided/Indiana Historical Society)

State historical markers like this one commemorate significant individuals, organizations, places and events in Indiana history. These markers help communities throughout the state promote, preserve and present the history of individuals like Andrew “Bo” Foster for the education and enjoyment of residents and tourists.

Contact multi-media Noral Parham III at (317)-762-7846 or via e-mail at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoralParham.

For more local happenings around Indianapolis, click here.

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