SARASOTA – The baseball legend lives on here, even though Buck O’Neil has been dead for over a decade. Folks around here will be reminded of that this weekend, as the Sarasota neighborhood where he grew up will carry his image in an exhibition on loan from the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. The “Buck O’Neil: Right on Time” exhibition opens Saturday at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex. The exhibit will honor the late O’Neil, who grew up in Sarasota before becoming a standout player and manager in the Negro Leagues and, late in his life, a beloved baseball icon. The inaugural exhibition of the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition is in partnership with the City of Sarasota, the Baltimore Orioles, Newtown Alive and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. More:Buck O’Neil’s legacy: Baseball and beyond With the exception of Sundays, the exhibit can be viewed daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. until
In April 2018 Vickie Oldham and 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Charles Williams wrote a column in the Herald-Tribune bearing the headline “Newtown needs an art center and museum.” In their opening paragraph Oldham and Williams stated that “cultural arts centers, museums and libraries situated in the heart of African American neighborhoods add texture, vibrancy and richness to a community.” And in concluding their piece, the duo declared that it was now “time to take another giant, groundbreaking leap forward to construct a center and museum in the community with library capabilities.” Those words rang true three years ago. And they ring true today, too: Now is the time to make a Sarasota African American Art Center and History Museum a reality. The good news is that much progress has made since that 2018 column was published. The Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition has been formed with funding from the
SARASOTA – The Leonard Reid family played a critical role in the establishment of Sarasota’s earliest African American community. Now their home is one step closer to playing a critical role in preserving that community’s rich history and future. In the summer, the city of Sarasota, an area developer, Newtown Alive and the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition reached an agreement to move the historic Reid house to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. corridor in Newtown to serve as the starter home of Sarasota’s first center honoring the legacy and impact of its Black community. This week city commissioners agreed to spend up to $116,000 from local business taxes that were previously earmarked for a grant to help business owners weather the coronavirus. The funding will be used to help cover the costs to prepare the parcels on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Orange Avenue.