The First All-Black Town in the U.S.

Founded in the 1880s, Eatonville, FL was the first all-African American town to be incorporated in the U.S. It is also the childhood home of writer Zora Neale Hurston. Today, the community strives to balance its history and the future.

"Eatonville has long been defined as a paradox of triumph and struggle. It is both a historic model of black empowerment and a community of nearly 2,400 where the poverty rates are twice the national average. It is a literary hub but also an oak-shaded example of rural Southern black culture - sometimes disdained, sometimes praised - that was born of American slavery. Not surprisingly, residents here are both proud and protective."

"[I]n many ways, the town [Zora Neale Hurston] described - and made a tourist stop by including it in the Florida travel guide produced by the Depression-era Federal Writers' Project - remains a place apart. It is as independent, dignified and private as it was in the 1930s, when Hurston wrote that rural blacks in Florida often resisted sharing their true thoughts with the white man, who 'knowing so little about us, he doesn't know what he is missing.'"

Full Story: In a Town Apart, the Pride and Trials of Black Life

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