Seeking True Florida Culture?

Long overlooked is the long cultural history of African-Americans that runs deep in the sandy Floridian soil. Eatonville in Orange County is one of the first all-black towns to be incorporated after the Emancipation Proclamation. Zora Neale Hurston grew up there and always claimed Florida as her home. She set her famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, in Florida, and her descriptions of weathering a hurricane in the Everglades is enough to make any native Floridian tremble. It's a history that's barely remembered by most, much less taught in schools, but the Spady Living Heritage Museum (170 NW Fifth Ave., Delray Beach) stands as a stalwart witness. The museum's regular hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, but if you're new to the Spady Museum and the heritage it seeks to preserve, a better introduction might be the Spady Living Heritage Festival on Saturday. Taking place all day along NW Fifth Avenue in Delray Beach, there will be live music, a children's play area and parade, a vintage farm exhibition, story telling, and more. Festival admission is free. Museum admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and free for members. Call 561-279-8883, or visit spadymuseum.
Sat., Nov. 5, 11 a.m., 2011
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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane