When a writer from The Courier, Pittsburgh’s historic African-American newspaper, came to Peoria to talk to blacks about the 1952 presidential campaign, he chose to take the pulse of the community at two establishments on North Washington Street, The Blue Shadow and Bris Collins’s tavern.
The majority of Peorians, including Bris, were registered Republicans. However, as reporter John Clark suggests, being pro-business and in favor of civil rights did put elements of the party at odds with each other. So, for example, Collins refused to sell the whiskey made at several distilleries in town because of their racist hiring policies.
The “Richard Pryor” mentioned in the article was the comedian’s uncle, known in the family as “Dickie”.