Local author Cynthia Wilson-Graham, co-author of the book Remembering Paradise Park, Tourism and Segregation with Lu Vickers, will recount the history of Paradise Park on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora. The program is being cosponsored by the Bob Graham Center, the UF Dial Center and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
Wilson-Graham, an educator and lecturer, will discuss the book but will also speak about local black history and experiences common to all African-American people from the 1920s through the 1960s.
Paradise Park, billed as the "colored only" counterpart to Silver Springs from 1949 to 1969, came to be viewed as a place of delight and leisure for African-American families during the painful era of Jim Crow.
Though both parks shared the same river, patrons rarely crossed paths.
Silver Springs was Florida's only attraction to operate a parallel facility for African Americans, but its story has gone untold until now. Wilson-Graham was instrumental to the installation of a historical marker by the Bureau of Historic Preservation at the former entrance to Paradise Park.
Books will be available for sale after the event.
The event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live at bobgrahamcenter.ufl.edu.