The Integration of Schools in Lee County, Florida

  • Julian Cutler Valdivia University of Florida
Keywords: Undergraduate research, Historiography

Abstract

Fort Myers, Florida, is one of the fastest growing parts of the United States yet historians have paid little attention to the area. This is especially true of the historiography surrounding Dunbar-Heights, the historically Black sections of the city. Despite having one of the largest Black communities between Tampa and Miami, there is scant information on how de jure segregation operated and ended in Southwest Florida. The research provided here fills this historiographical gap using oral histories that give us a glimpse into Florida’s not so distant past. This methodology enables the Dunbar Community to tell a new Black history of Fort Myers. Collectively the speakers presented in this piece help explain how Jim Crow influenced the integration of schools into the 1970s. This history of Fort Myers reminds Floridians of how connected SWFL was with the rest of the state and how deeply intertwined Florida was with the American South.

Author Biography

Julian Cutler Valdivia, University of Florida
Department of History, Undergraduate

References

Ammann, P. (1969, May 15). Order signed in integration of Dunbar High. Fort Myers News Press, p. 1A.

Ammann, P. (969, May 20). Angry white parents gather to demand freedom of choice. Fort Myers News Press, p. 1A.

Ammann, P. (1969, May 21). Board, parents favor freedom of choice plan. Fort Myers News Press, p. 1A.

Desegregation suit is discussed here. (1967, February 27). Fort Myers News Press, p. 7A.

Integration for the Dunbar Schools. (1969, May 11). Fort Myers News Press, p. 1A.

Mayo, G. (2018, June 6). AAHP 606 [Interview by J. C. Valdivia]. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection. Retrieved from P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.

McGee, J. (1978, December 3). Dunbar: A community profile – About this series. Fort Myers News Press, p. 1A.

Schmirler, D. (1970, February 13). Negro students stage walkout at North High. Fort Myers News Press, p. 6A.

Simms, L, & Simms, N. K. (2018, June 14). AAHP 608A [Interview by J. C. Valdivia]. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection. Retrieved from P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.

Winsboro, I. D. (2012). Old South, New South, or Down South? Florida and the modern civil rights movement. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.

Young, M. (2018, June 27). AAHP 611 [Interview by J. C. Valdivia]. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection. Retrieved from P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.

Published
2019-11-21
Section
Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education