From discovering a prehistoric archaeological site to founding a private school that has grown into a nationally recognized university, African-Americans have made significant contributions to our city’s heritage and history. In February, which is Black History Month, the city will highlight some of our rich history that included a birthday celebration for former mayor Yvonne Scarlett-Golden on Saturday, Feb. 1. The event included tributes from her family members, friends and colleagues.
Additionally. the city has compiled four videos which highlight an interesting aspect of Daytona Beach’s past. Take a visual tour of some of the people and places that make our community unique.
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and civil rights leader, impacted the lives of countless people during her lifetime and continues to shape the lives of young people through the university that she created and still bears her name.
In 1904, Mrs. Bethune founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. The school opened with just five little girls whose parents paid the $0.50 per week tuition. Today, the school is Bethune-Cookman University in the heart of Daytona Beach.
Black History Trail in Daytona Beach
A few years ago a group of historians and citizens spent countless hours assembling the community’s Black Heritage Trail, so that future generations are reminded of the important role that African-Americans played in the history and development of our community. There are 18 sites highlighted in the Black Heritage Trail booklet; however, they are not intended to be a complete, comprehensive listing of the many African-American accomplishments or historically significant sites in Daytona Beach.
In the late 1800’s, Midway was the largest community where African Americans lived, worked, played and prayed. The boundaries of Midway were along Second Avenue, which today is Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard, the railroad tracks to the east and Nova Road on the west. Watch this video for more information about the importance of this segregated neighborhood.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark
Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach was the site where Jackie Robinson integrated modern professional baseball. Originally named the Daytona City Island Ballpark, it was renamed Jackie Robinson Memorial Ballpark in 1990 to commemorate Robinson’s integration.