What does the Town of Eatonville have in common with the fictitious land of Wakanda in Disney’s Black Panther movie? Wakanda was a comic book depiction of an entire society made by Black people for Black people. Eatonville is an actual town established by Black people for Black people. It was founded in 1887 by the formerly enslaved who sought to enjoy the full rights of American citizenship, free from racism and violence.
The fictional land of Wakanda was untouched by colonialism. It was a place where Black culture and Black excellence thrived. While Wakanda is fiction, imagine what Eatonville can become if we can build upon its rich history, heritage and culture. The Town was established a decade after America’s Reconstruction, and unlike so many other towns and settlements established by African Americans during that time period, Eatonville did not face the terror of white mobs but instead thrived. Within its one square mile was a private boarding school, the Hungerford Normal and Industrial School, a vibrant civic and religious life, and a successful commercial sector. In fact, educator and political power broker, Booker T. Washington, then the recognized leader of the American Negro Community, acknowledged Eatonville as a successful example of African American business enterprise and town-building.
Today the Town is a shadow of its “Past Self.” But together we can change this. Together, we can usher in an “Eatonville Renaissance.”
From the annual ZORA! Festival to the E-WE Lab, the Association to Preserve Eatonville Community (P.E.C.) is a local organization working hard towards building a better future for Historic Eatonville. A small but mighty team, P.E.C. needs your help to turn Eatonville into a real-life Wakanda, right here in the heart of Central Florida.
Please consider joining our efforts by investing in Eatonville today. Click to make a donation now.
The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.), founded in 1987 and incorporated by the State of Florida in 1988, was organized to protect this historic community from a community-busting highway project and to advance the process needed to preserve the town for posterity. Perhaps best known for its development of the annual, award-winning Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA! Festival), which was first presented in 1990, P.E.C. has been able to identify two significant paths to ensure the community’s future: the excellent preparation of its children for academic success, thus ensuring their ability to secure 21 st century well-paying jobs and cultural heritage tourism, an economic catalyst for Eatonville’s future.
Please visit preserveeatonville.org to learn about this grassroots organization which has established a track record of excellence based upon heritage, education, and the cultural arts.
The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) is a tax-exempt, 501 © (3) organization (FEIN: 59-2952662). Contributions to P.E.C. are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.