SARASOTA (WWSB) - On Mon. Jan. 21, Sarasota will be named a destination on the US Civil Rights Trail as one of the five new locations in the country.
The US Civil Rights Trail website now has five news location pins showing on their map of the states. Sarasota is one of the locations with a pin, a picture is located below.
Clicking on the pin leads you to more information, including about the struggle the African-American had in the 1950s to gain access to public beaches and the Newtown African American Heritage Trail. It wasn’t until 1964, following the Civil Rights Act, that beaches in Sarasota were fully integrated.
ABC7′s Renee Gilmore, host of Black Almanac will be hosting the MLK Breakfast located at 1845 34th Street, Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.
“Sarasota is paradise for vacationers and residents that enjoy beaches rated in the top ten in the world. For African Americans, that wasn’t always the situation. Newtown residents, many of whom were students, risked being jailed and viciously attacked during city’s period of ‘wade-ins’. Imagine a time when tax paying residents were forbidden to walk the Suncoast’s beautiful white sand beaches because of the color of their skin. The Civil Rights Trail is a resource that adds depth to understanding American history. Courageous people are a reason America is ‘the home of the brave," Renee said.
Community Breakfast begins 7:30 a.m.
The program will recognize local activists, and community members who contribute to the community daily. Former Ohio senator Nina Turner is the keynote speaker, she founded and operates a nonprofit called Our Revolution. A program to train America’s next progressive leaders.
Ceremonial MLK march begins around 11 a.m.
The is the 38th year Sarasota has marched to celebrate MLK day. Newton’s MLK celebration began before the national holiday was designated.
‘Wade-In’ car caravan and Trolley to Lido Beach
Re-enacting the route taken by African Americans from Newtown to Lido Beach. Residents went to Lido (and other area beaches) in peaceful protest of the restrictions on blacks. Visiting anything other than sections of the shore designated as ‘the black beach’ was problematic and dangerous.