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Sun, sand and civil rights: Uncovering Black history at the beach and beyond

Sarasota, Florida’s white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters draw visitors from far and wide, but they weren’t always so welcoming. “Few of our guests, our international and domestic tourists who come
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The Soul of Sarasota | Greater Sarasota Video

Building on her roots in the black church in Newtown, Melanie Lavender turned to writing and performing spoken word as a way to heal from multiple tragedies. She continues to
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SUNDAY ‘NOIRE: Black Historian Shares The Hidden History Of Newtown, A Historically Black Neighborhood In Florida

Deep within Sarasota, Florida lies the historic neighborhood of Newtown, a community where thousands of African American residents flocked in the early 1900s. The Black community built their own safe
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Home carrying legacy of Sarasota’s first Black community to be relocated, transformed for cultural center

SARASOTA, Fla. – A home in Sarasota‘s Rosemary District will soon carry the legacy of the city’s first Black community. Plans are in the works to transform it into an
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A coalition is teaching Sarasotans about African American history, as it waits to open a museum

HERALD TRIBUNE- Vickie Oldham wants Sarasotans to understand the courage and dignity of the African American residents who built Sarasota’s infrastructure. Black laborers built the railroad that ran through downtown
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The Soul of Sarasota

Greater Sarasota Building on her roots in the black church in Newtown, Melanie Lavender turned to writing and performing spoken word as a way to heal from multiple tragedies. She
Read More

Sun, Sand and civil rights: Uncovering Black history at the beach and beyond

Sarasota, Florida’s white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters draw visitors from far and wide, but they weren’t always so welcoming. “Few of our guests, our international and domestic tourists who come
Read More

A New Museum Will Bring to Light the Often-Forgotten Role of African Americans in Sarasota

Sarasota’s Black history has long been neglected, and Vickie Oldham has been on a mission to change that. Largely due to her six-year effort, as the head of the Sarasota
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New exhibit to honor baseball icon Buck O’Neil

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
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‘Negro Leagues’ star shines in Newtown

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Now’s time for Sarasota African American museum

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
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Sarasota’s first Black cultural center edges closer to reality

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
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GUEST EDITORIAL: The history of Black America by James Stewart

GUEST EDITORIAL: The history of Black America by James Stewart As president of the Manasota branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, I am
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SEIDMAN: Historic house to become starter home for city’s first Black culture center

The Leonard Reid home will be moved from the Rosemary District to city land in Newtown to become the beginnings of the Sarasota African American Cultural Center. It’s not every
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City of Sarasota Receives Grant to Support Newtown

The Newtown Historic Conservation District is among 18 projects nationwide—the only one in Florida—to be awarded an Underrepresented Community Grant from the National Park Service. The $50,000 grant will give
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Pride of place in Newtown

It may not be a lot of money, but it’s a very big deal. And it’s earmarked for Newtown, a unique Sarasota community where folks have always known how to
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Oldham and Williams: Newtown needs an arts center and museum

Cultural arts centers, museums and libraries situated in the heart of African American neighborhoods add texture, vibrancy and richness to a community. The facilities bring diverse people together and invite
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Other Articles

Cultural arts centers, museums and libraries situated in the heart of African American neighborhoods add texture, vibrancy and richness to a community. The facilities bring diverse people together and invite residents, visitors and guests to venture into underrepresented communities. Welcome doors swing open both ways for an understanding and exploration of the unknown and unfamiliar. READ MORE

“More than a dozen Gators sat in a circle at the Goodwill Selby Newtown Center on Friday morning to launch an academic project that the community hopes will have a concrete outcome. The University of Florida architecture and construction students had come from Gainesville on a mission to develop proposals for a new cultural arts center in the heart of the Newtown on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way.” Read more about the upcoming Newtown Cultural Arts Center in the Herald Tribune. READ MORE

Cities from Washington, D.C. to Punta Gorda have centers preserving local black history. Why doesn’t Sarasota?

St. Petersburg has one. So does Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, Manatee County and (soon) Longboat Key. Tampa has two. And though it took decades to realize, one finally opened in the nation’s capital two years ago. READ MORE