Civil Rights Sarasota

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Below you will find a collection of photos from Sarasota’s segregated past. The majority are posted, with permission, from the personal collection of Jetson Grimes, and additional contributions of historical ads and newspaper clippings from The Sarasota County History Center, with a thank you to Jeff LaHurd. They range from the early 20th century to the present, from baseball teams and segregated beauty pageants, to  advertisements for the KKK’s circus. Please share your stories at the bottom of the page and email crandazzo@floridastudiotheatre.org to submit a picture of your own!

Leonard Reid

Leonard Reid, one of the first members of Sarasota’s black community: Overtown, Circa early 20th century.

A Klan Circus Advertisement

A Klan Circus Advertisement. Circa 1926.

Booker Elementary First Class

The first graduating class from the new Booker Elementary School, off 6th street. Circa 1942.

One of the First Graduating Class from Booker High

One of the first graduating classes of Booker High School. Circa 1940’s

Beauty Pagent Contestant

Beauty Pageant contestant Silverine Lee. Circa 1940s

Article about beach segregation from Sarasota Herald Tribune

Article about beach segregation from Sarasota Herald Tribune. Circa 1955

Baseball Team (Negro League)

Local Negro League baseball team: The Nine Devils. Circa 1940’s.

First Minister

Center, the first Minister of New Bethel church. Circa 1940’s.

Charmettes' Women's Club. Lee Suarez (center seated), was president. Circa 1940's.

Charmettes’ Women’s Club. Lee Suarez (center seated), was president. Circa 1940’s.

Harmony Kings, local blues group. First African American group to play at the Terrace Hotel Rooftop club.

Harmony Kings, local blues group. First African American group to play at the Terrace Hotel Rooftop club. Circa 1950’s.

Booker High Football Team

Booker High football team, in hand-me-down uniforms from local white schools. Circa 1950’s.

first beauty salon, on 4-5th st

One of the first beauty salon’s in Newton, located at 4th/5th street area. Circa 1951.

Sarasota KKK chapter emblem

Sarasota KKK chapter emblem

Booker High Football Team 2

Booker High football team. Circa 1955.

First Black Basketball team coach CMC

First integrated basketball team, with first black coach. Circa 1960’s.

first cameraman for Channel 40 (now 7)

Gene Kiniki, first black cameraman for channel 40 (now channel 7). Circa 1980.

Racism and the Struggle for Civil Rights in  Sarasota

One response to “Civil Rights Sarasota

  1. Thank you Mr. Grimes for this history! My grandmother is Mrs. Mary Lee Howard sitting to the left of Mrs. Suarez in the black dress in the Charmette’s Women’s Club. Kisses to Mrs. Ramel Grimes for raising me in the church. My church mother! Love yall.

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