September 23, 2023


Elegant home interior

Renovations wanted to keep background alive at Black Background Museum in Marion County

OCALA, Fla. – The Black History Museum of Marion County is compact, but it holds a massive component of history.

Marion County School Board member Rev. Eric Cummings said he retains the Black Background Museum of Marion County shut to his heart mainly because it sits inside Howard Academy.

“I in many cases consider of the wrestle dealing with the racism, segregation, Jim Crow lives. The desire to want to have training coming out of slavery,” Cummings said.

It was the initially faculty for African Us residents in Ocala that opened in 1866. Cummings’ father attended Howard Academy.

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“He normally talked about the comradery and anticipations that Howard had for them as pupils… They had entertaining at school, but experienced very large expectations for education,” stated Cummings.

Howard Academy grew to become a large college in 1927 and was one particular of only two colleges in Florida that awarded large school diplomas to Black college students. The disparities in education were far better than the white faculties.

“They were being succeeding with hand me downs. They bought the utilized publications. They ended up outdated and history experienced transformed… They experienced some large challenges but they succeeded,” mentioned Cummings.

The museum not only retains report playing cards, course photos and trophies from Howard Academy. It also properties war artifacts, and photographs from Paradise Park, a vacationer attraction for Black persons in close proximity to Silver Springs.

Paradise Park was a well-liked tourist attraction in the vicinity of Silver Springs for Blacks throughout segregation. You can locate some historic apparel and pics from the functions that took put at the park.

Alongside with the museum, Howard Academy is a community centre. Supplying tutoring expert services, spouse and children sources and assembly spaces. The generations-previous constructing has its variety of problems including busted pipes and failing supports. Repairs believed in the hundreds of countless numbers of bucks.


“To see it vanish is a tragedy, which is why we had to do something,” explained Cummings.

The Marion County Faculty Board has agreed to entrance some of the expense to renovate the setting up and preserve heritage alive. They hope Howard Academy will carry on to serve as a perspective of the past, and a useful resource to foster accomplishment in schooling for the foreseeable future for all students.

Howard Academy and the Black Heritage Museum of Marion County is located at 306 NW 7th Avenue in Ocala. The local community centre and museum are accepting donations to help with renovation costs and can be designed through the Marion County General public Instruction Basis.

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