With the recent prevalence of the Black Lives Matter movement, the expression “We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams” has circulated widely. Such a simple statement serves as a gentle battle cry, a beacon of hope, and an affirmation for the future. Looking at today’s business leaders, artists, scientists, doctors, and success stories alike, we can say so many African Americans are the embodiment of our ancestors’ wildest dreams. Indeed, we have come a long way from this country’s beginnings, yet we still have a long way to go. The dream is not yet fully realized.
Our ancestors dreamed of full enfranchisement within the country they had labored to build; to be safe, and to enjoy the natural rights as written in the Declaration of Independence. The historic Town of Eatonville, Florida Is a beautiful example of the seeds our ancestors planted in hopes of realizing this dream.
Located just ten miles north of Orlando, Eatonville is the hometown of literary icon Zora Neale Hurston, who has made the community known around the world as “the first incorporated African-American town in the United States.” Today, Eatonville remains a self-governing municipality, facing all the challenges COVID-19 has lain bare.
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.
We believe our ancestors would be proud to see the progress we have made. We also believe that they are still counting on us to bring the full dream to fruition. How will you keep the dream alive? Please make a donation today to the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.). The future lies in our hands.
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.