Representatives from the College of Arts and Humanities, including the Department of History, participated in an event that celebrated and honored UCF’s ongoing role in documenting, preserving and educating people about the historically African American town of Eatonville, which is thirteen miles west of UCF’s main campus.
Associate Professor of History and Director of Public History Dr. Scot French, who has carried out extensive research on the town, spoke and curated an exhibit at the First Annual Triple “A” Breakfast, which was hosted by Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. and held at the Macedonia Baptist Church. French’s talk, entitled “On Historic Eatonville,” outlined the history of the community and its origin as a “Negro colony” within neighboring Maitland. Eatonville was among the first all-African American towns incorporated in the United States.
Event attendees viewed an installation of a traveling exhibit curated by French entitled “Zora Neale Hurston’s Native Village: Historic Eatonville Remembered,” which included panels on the history of Eatonville and folklorist and novelist Zora Neale Hurston’s works, together with photographs taken during Hurston’s 1935 song-collecting trip to Eatonville. The traveling exhibits have previously been displayed at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts and the UCF Library.
Dr. Elizabeth Dooley, UCF Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, accepted the award on behalf of the university in appreciation for its longtime partnership and in honor of the History department’s efforts to preserve Eatonville’s legacy through two of the three “A’s” alluded to in the event’s title: awareness and advocacy.