Join us for a Panel Discussion and Q&A led by Vickie Oldham, director of Newtown Alive. African American trailblazers recount Sarasota’s rich African American history and share personal, coming-of-age stories about working alongside groundskeepers on the property of William and Marie Selby, joyriding and running errands with “Uncle Bill”; scaling the wall surrounding the Christy and Helen Payne house and watching the local Civil Right Movement unfold through the eyes of a teenager.
The Selby’s moved to Sarasota in 19– and enjoyed their beloved home for fifty years. Grover Yancey was the Selby’s gardener until his retirement in 1992 at age 76. Mr. Lymus Dixon Sr. worked for the Selby’s for many years, became extended family and were gifted with a home and automobiles. When Mr. Selby passed away, Juanita Hamilton worked for Mrs. Selby as her cook and constant companion for 20 years. The hour long journey through history is filled with stories of courage, resilience, and determination by African American pioneers on the suncoast who rolled up their sleeves and began leading community transformation.
Vickie Oldham enjoys good storytelling. She is foremost a journalist. Presently, Oldham is spearheading a groundbreaking historic preservation project called “Newtown Alive.” It began as a project to trace the 100-year history of the African American community of Newtown; but has quickly expanded into a cultural heritage tourism initiative that is causing residents and visitors to take a second look at the neighborhood through a different lens.
FREE public lecture, must register to attend..