The Florida city will celebrate its 130th birthday this Saturday.
Eatonville, Florida, is the oldest continuously-existing African-American city in the United States, and its residents will be celebrating it turning 130-years-old on Saturday.
As the Orlando Times reports:
The Anniversary weekend will commence on August 18 with a legacy reception with local dignitaries, a Unity in the Community Celebration on August 19th featuring a crafts market, food, music, free giveaways, bounce house, video game trucks and much more. In celebration of arts and culture, the Town will launch a Town Hall Arts Exhibit: Eatonville Proud featuring artwork of local African-American artists and Eatonville residents. Included in the exhibit will be an iconic sculpture from Bronze Kingdom that will be placed at Eatonville’s Town Hall. Bronze Kingdom holds the largest collection of rare African bronze sculptures in the world. The sculpture will be unveiled at the legacy reception on August 18th.
Eatonville, which received its charter from the state of Florida in August 1887, was built as a self-governing all-black town for black people living in central Florida at the time.
The iconic black writer Zora Neale Hurston was born there and used the city as her setting for her seminal book Their Eyes Were Watching God (her father, John Hurston, also served as the city’s mayor in 1897). Today, Eatonville has nearly 2,300 residents, with 85 percent of the city’s population black.
“Our goal is to make Eatonville a household name nationwide by honoring our history and promoting our legacy,” Mayor Eddie Cole said.