Renovations essential to hold record alive at Black History Museum in Marion County

OCALA, Fla. – The Black Background Museum of Marion County is tiny, but it holds a huge component of history.

Marion County Faculty Board member Rev. Eric Cummings stated he holds the Black Background Museum of Marion County close to his heart because it sits inside Howard Academy.

“I quite often think of the battle working with the racism, segregation, Jim Crow lives. The need to want to have instruction coming out of slavery,” Cummings said.

It was the 1st college for African People in Ocala that opened in 1866. Cummings’ father attended Howard Academy.

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“He usually talked about the comradery and expectations that Howard experienced for them as students… They had fun at college, but had really substantial expectations for instruction,” explained Cummings.

Howard Academy became a higher school in 1927 and was one of only two universities in Florida that awarded substantial faculty diplomas to Black students. The disparities in training have been much larger than the white educational institutions.

“They ended up succeeding with hand me downs. They acquired the applied textbooks. They were being aged and history experienced modified… They experienced some big difficulties but they succeeded,” claimed Cummings.

The museum not only retains report cards, course pictures and trophies from Howard Academy. It also properties war artifacts, and photographs from Paradise Park, a vacationer attraction for Black people today in the vicinity of Silver Springs.

Paradise Park was a well-known vacationer attraction close to Silver Springs for Blacks throughout segregation. You can come across some historical garments and photographs from the activities that took put at the park.

Together with the museum, Howard Academy is a local community center. Offering tutoring products and services, household assets and conference spaces. The centuries-aged building has its range of problems including busted pipes and failing supports. Repairs approximated in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.


“To see it vanish is a tragedy, that is why we experienced to do a thing,” stated Cummings.

The Marion County Faculty Board has agreed to front some of the charge to renovate the creating and preserve record alive. They hope Howard Academy will proceed to provide as a view of the previous, and a resource to foster results in training for the potential for all students.

Howard Academy and the Black Heritage Museum of Marion County is located at 306 NW 7th Avenue in Ocala. The group heart and museum are accepting donations to assist with renovation charges and can be produced by the Marion County General public Schooling Basis.

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