Saturday, January 30, 2021

People and places, Florida north and south

Finding information about frontier Florida's black residents isn't always easy when digging for voices from the past. Many were too busy scraping a living and raising families to find time to record memoirs or write in diaries. Some couldn't read or write. They - as well as distinguihed blacks and those of means - faced years of discrimination from societies and organizations established to preserve local histories. 

So, I enjoyed watching the videos - shared here - that offer a glimpse from opposite ends of the state. The first gives a brief overview of sites associated with black history in Miami. They include the first house owned by a black person in Miami.

The other video is the introduction to Florida's Black History Channel, a YouTube channel about the history of the Glenwood neighborhood in Panama City in the Florida Panhandle. While the Miami video depicts places, the Panama City ones focus on people who share memories of days gone by. 

One thing became clear soon after I started watching the Panama City videos. It's a refrain that held true in my own youth. Neighborhoods were tight-knit and everyone kept an eye on all the local youth. Adults stepped in where and when needed, as needed. That was as true in my Brooklyn city youth as it was in the sandy backroads of country Florida. We've lost that, all of us. And that's a sad realization.

City of Miami - Black History video. Click on the photo to watch the video or use this link:

Screengrab from City of Miami Black History video

Introduction video on the Black History Channel: Click on the photo to watch the video or use this link:

Screengrab from Black History Channel's introduction video

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