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Eunice Trotter

Newspaper owner and nonprofit chief executive Eunice Trotter received her A.S. degree in journalism from Indiana University-Southeast in 1976 and her B.S. degree in journalism in 1981. Trotter returned to school at Webster International University and graduated from there in 2002 with her M.B.A. degree.

Trotter was the first African American woman to serve as an editor for the Indianapolis Star, the largest daily paper in the State of Indiana. She purchased the Indianapolis Recorder in 1987 and served as editor-in-chief and publisher until 1991. Trotter also worked as a reporter for the Stockton Record and the New York Post. She has held several other editorial positions, including zones editor for Florida Today, associate editor at The News-Sentinel, and courts editor with The Palm Beach Post. In 2005, Trotter founded Mary Bateman Clark Enterprises, where she has worked to incorporate the history of African Americans in Indiana into mainstream U.S. history. She became a communications specialist for American Senior Communities in 2011.

Trotter served on the Board of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. In addition to numerous other awards, she was recognized for her professional accomplishments by the Indianapolis, Indiana Chapter of the Young Women’s Christian Association with their Salute to Women of Achievement Award.

Trotter is working on publishing a book, Mary Bateman Clark: A Woman of Color and Courage.

Eunice Trotter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.117

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/7/2013

Last Name

Trotter

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Indiana University Southeast

Martin University

Webster University

Arsenal Technical High School

John Hope School 26

Shortridge High School

William A. Bell School 60

Paul C. Stetson School 76

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Eunice

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

TRO01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

If You Don't Have A Hammer, Use A Shoe.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/15/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Indianapolis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Newspaper editor Eunice Trotter (1953 - ) was the first African American woman to own the Indiana Recorder and the first African American woman to serve as an editor at the Indianapolis Star.

Employment

Mary Bateman Clark Enterprises

Indianapolis Reader

Stockton Record

Florida Today

New York Post

News Sentinel

Indianapolis Star

Palm Beach Post

American Senior Communicates

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650985">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eunice Trotter's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650986">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650987">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650988">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter talks about her mother's experiences in Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650989">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650990">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter talks about Mary Bateman Clark's lawsuit against indentured servitude, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650991">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter talks about Mary Bateman Clark's lawsuit against indentured servitude, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650992">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter talks about the Harrison family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650993">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eunice Trotter reflects upon the legacy of Mary Bateman Clark</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650994">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eunice Trotter talks about her father's black separatist views</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650995">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter describes her community in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650996">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter talks about the history of Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650997">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter talks about the impact of racism on memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650998">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter talks about her parents' marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/650999">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651000">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter lists her siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651001">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter describes her earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651002">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Eunice Trotter talks about her father's alcoholism and her work to support the family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651003">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Eunice Trotter describes the black community in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651004">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Eunice Trotter talks about her early experiences of religion</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651005">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eunice Trotter talks about her religious affiliation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651006">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter remembers John Hope School 26 in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651007">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter talks about her father's knowledge of Mary Bethune Clark</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651008">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter talks about her biggest influences at John Hope School 26 in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651009">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter remembers her childhood asthma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651010">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter talks about her family's involvement in journalism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651011">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter remembers household entertainment</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651012">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter describes her schooling</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651013">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Eunice Trotter recalls the challenges of moving to a new school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651014">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Eunice Trotter remembers the Klu Klux Klan and the Black Panthers recruitment at her high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651015">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Eunice Trotter remembers her teachers at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651016">Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Eunice Trotter remembers her mother's work in domestic service</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651017">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eunice Trotter remembers her Teen Talk gossip column</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651018">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter talks about her decision to become a writer</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651019">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter recalls running for the high school track team</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651020">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter remembers singing with the Soulettes</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651021">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter recalls meeting her first husband</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651022">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter talks about The Invaders youth organization</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651023">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter remembers Robert F. Kennedy's speech after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651024">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter recalls her graduation from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651025">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Eunice Trotter remembers securing a reporting positon at the Indianapolis Recorder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651026">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Eunice Trotter talks about her interest in covering crime</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651027">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eunice Trotter remembers her work as a crime reporter for the Indianapolis Recorder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651028">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter remembers her start at the Indianapolis Star</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651029">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter talks about her experience working with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651030">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter remembers Reginald Bishop</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651031">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter remembers the early meetings of the National Association of Black Journalists</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651032">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter remembers Martin Center College in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651033">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter describes how she became the owner of the Indianapolis Recorder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651034">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter reflects upon her decision to return to the Indianapolis Recorder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651035">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eunice Trotter talks about her tenure as the owner of the Indianapolis Recorder, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651036">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter talks about her tenure as the owner of the Indianapolis Recorder, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651037">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter recalls her decision to sell the Indianapolis Recorder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651038">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter describes her philosophy of journalism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651039">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter talks about her freelance journalism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651040">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter remembers the O.J. Simpson verdict</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651041">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter talks about her articles in the New York Post</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651042">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter remembers joining the staff of Florida Today</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651043">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Eunice Trotter talks about the community of Fort Wayne, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651044">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter recalls covering the Burmese population in Fort Wayne, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651045">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter remembers becoming the editor of the Indianapolis Star</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651046">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter reflects upon the state of journalism, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651047">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter reflects upon the state of journalism, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651048">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter talks about her favorite newspapers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651049">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter talks about the need for a multicultural news portal</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651050">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter talks about the consolidation of journalism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651051">Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Eunice Trotter describes her oral history project, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651052">Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Eunice Trotter describes her oral history project, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651053">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Eunice Trotter talks about the Mary Bateman Clark Project</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651054">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Eunice Trotter talks about the founding of the Indianapolis Recorder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651055">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Eunice Trotter reflects upon her life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651056">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Eunice Trotter reflects upon her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651057">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Eunice Trotter describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651058">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Eunice Trotter talks about her family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651059">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Eunice Trotter talks about her amateur bowling career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651060">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Eunice Trotter describes how she would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/651061">Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Eunice Trotter narrates her photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$8

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Eunice Trotter describes how she became the owner of the Indianapolis Recorder
Eunice Trotter talks about the Mary Bateman Clark Project
Transcript
I'm not trying to go too fast here, but, but in 1987 you become the owner, editor, and publisher of the Recorder [Indianapolis Recorder]--$$Yes.$$--is that? So, how, how did that come about, and what were--how were you getting along at the Star [Indianapolis Star], and did that have anything to do with it or was it just an opportunity or what?$$Well, in 1986, I had--well, actually in '85 [1985], I'd started a syndicate. My belief was that, media wanted content of interest to African Americans, but did not have the staffing to provide it. That was my belief. And I began to recruit writers around the country to be content providers, and I began marketing this work to newspapers, mainstream newspapers. Now, the work included cartoon strips, columns; that kind of work, some games, puzzles, that were Afrocentric, and I marketed this, but I found that the papers that we were subscribing to were not the mainstream papers. They was the black weeklies that wanted it and subscribed to it. So I had picked up quite a few subscriptions from weeklies. And we operated much like any syndicate, King Syndicate [King Features Syndicate, Inc.]. In fact, there was a syndicate that had a name real similar to ours, but had far more resources than we had. Ours was called Syndicated Writers and Artists [Syndicated Writers and Artists, Inc.]. And the big one was Syndicated Artists and Writers [ph.]. (Laughter). So. We provided the content. A lot of newspapers couldn't pay us on time, so we grew our company by including collections persons to help us get the money that the newspapers owed us. And the business grew, and I had to make a choice here. Do I continue working for the Star or do I, you know, strike out on my own. And so I did, I struck out on my own, and I found that once I left full time employment, more opportunities opened up for me, but it wasn't related to the syndicate. There were these opportunities were companies wanting PR [public relations] service; you know, "Can you do news releases?" So I formed a PR component of the business, and it--soon really, it became the overwhelming part of the business that kept us going. So we had clients like, Indiana Black Expo. We did the publicity, the PR for the Indiana Black Expo, Madam Walker [Madam C.J. Walker], Wilma Rudolph, she was a client, and on. I won't try to name everybody that worked with us. We started in my house, and we moved into an office building, and we moved into a bigger office space. And then I got a call from the Recorder. George Thompson [George J. Thompson] was the manager. By then, Mr. Stewart [Marcus Stewart, Sr.] had died, and he wanted to know if I would come and help him manage the newsroom, because they were having issues there. So we worked out an arrangement where I would set my business down inside of the Recorder. So part of the physical facility of the Recorder was devoted to my own business. And they gave us office space for that. So I had staffing for that, and then I set out to help manage the Recorder. And soon the Recorder became the dominant presence in my life, and I ended up closing the PR services syndicate down, and then interest was offered to me to continue there at the Recorder. And that's how I ended up at the Recorder.$So, let me go back again to the, your ancestor, Mary Bateman Clark. Now, you have something called the Mary Bateman Clark Enterprises [sic.]?$$Project.$$Project?$$Um-hm.$$Okay, project. It's not enterprises?$$It's Mary Bateman Clark Project.$$Okay. And when did you start the Mary Bateman Clark Project?$$Well, that started--let me think here. Because we started informally, you know. The project, actually, was a research project, and that's the reason it was called a project. And it had became a project to get a marker placed in Vincennes, Indiana, honoring Mary Bateman Clark. And it started in 2003, '4 [2004]. We've been at it for about ten years. And when I say we, I mean myself and my sister [Ethel Brewer McCane] and people who have been supporting us to get this done. So the research first, and then after the research, the marker, which we now have placed--we are continuing the project with the documentary ['Mary Bateman Clark: A Woman of Colour and Courage']. We want to get a headstone placed in the cemetery where she's buried, and we want to get this book published as part of the project.$$Okay. Okay. This started in 2003 and there's still some goals that haven't been met?$$Yes.$$Now, how did you--you might have told me in an early part. I don't think--I don't remember it though. How did you decide to pick this story up in the first place, 'cause, and you were telling me before as it relates to what your ancestors did, but I didn't--I don't think asked you about how you, you know, decided to focus on this.$$Well, actually, it started as a genealogy project. I, you know, wanted to know more about my father's [Charles Brewer, Jr.] side of the family, because, like I said, he left Vincennes and he never went back. And he told us some things about it, but I knew that his father [Charles Brewer, Sr.] was born there, I knew his father's father was born there, and I thought, okay, this would be a great line to trace, so. It started as a genealogy project. And I guess I could have focused on a lot of different ancestors from that line, because each one--not each one, but many, I should say, have made some contributions to Indiana. And so, actually--initially, I started with Sam Clark [Trotter's paternal great-great-great-grandfather, Samuel Clark], her husband, 'cause he is the patriarch. And he's the one who was at the Battle of Tippecanoe. I found secondary support for that; newspaper clips when he died, which was in eighteen sixty something, saying that he was in the Battle of Tippecanoe with [President] William Henry Harrison. And he was a hostler, horse handler for William Henry Harrison. And so that's where I really wanted to go. But then, as I found out about his wife, and then as I went to the Recorder, which happened prior to 2003, so actually, the research story, long time ago before then. There was this trunk at the Recorder, and in this trunk, and I told you that at the Recorder is stacks of paper everywhere, junk and clutter; well, there was a big shed in the back of this building with a trunk in there, and inside that trunk was just such a treasure trove of stuff. And one of the things there was the history of the A.M.E. church [African Methodist Episcopal] of Vincennes, Indiana; the history of Bethel A.M.E. Church of Vincennes, Indiana. And this history was written by the founder of the Indianapolis Recorder before he founded the Recorder. So the Recorder was founded in 1895. The history was written prior to 1895, and it was, I think, 1891, something like that, it was written. And it was a history of Bethel A.M.E. Church that read--that include every pastor, every board trustees, all the information about when Paul Quinn [William Paul Quinn] came to visit. This whole wonderful history about that church. And in that same history book were bios of the founders, and the very first one was about Sam and Mary Clark. And so when I saw that, I thought, oh, boy. This is really coming together for me. So I began to continue on that trail, and it just really took me all through Vincennes and through--I can't count what library clippings, you know, files. If--I'm going to give you one of those videos to take and you can just--you can gleam whatever you want from that. But I just, yeah. I just--It just opened the door to a lot of information about both of them. So I really--I could have gone Mary Clark, I could have gone Sam; but Mary's court case [Mary Clark, a woman of color v. G.W. Johnston] is what made--which is what made me really glom on to her, because this--and that's not in history books. There was nothing online. There's nothing in libraries that I saw about her, you know, and this case. This was an important case, and why wasn't there some information about that. That was my question. It was the why. It was a journalistic question, you know. Why isn't this story out there somewhere. Why have we been taught that Indiana was a free state when it wasn't, you know. And why is that lie continuing to be perpetuated even today, you know, in history books. So that's why I started with that. I wanted to, to correct that history, 'cause it's--we've been, we've been told a big lie.