Monday, July 11, 2016

Zora Neal Hurston Park Approved

The park at the corner of U.S. 1 and King Street will now be known as Zora Neal Hurston Park. Commissioners voted unanimously to do it at their July 11, 2016 meeting, overturning a staff recommendation to name it after the nearby San Sebastian River. Commissioners agreed with Dr. Leonard Pellicer, Ed.D., who called the San Sebastian name a "boring and uninteresting name."

Zora Neal Hurston, the African-American author, worked for my late mentor Stetson Kennedy at the WPA Florida Writers' Project. She never came to the office, because of Jim Crow laws in effect in the 1930s it was illegal for her to visit WPA offices. Ms. Hurston and Mr. Kennedy gathered Florida folklore using a tape recorder as big as a coffee table, with more slave oral histories recorded in Florida by WPA than in any other state.

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