As “Selma” proves, we are reaching an age when more and more minorities will be able to tell the facts of our history with less and less filter. Rather than continue to reinforce our own flawed conceptions of history, we should be having a more inclusive debate so that this great melting pot of America can reach an accurate understanding of our past. If we cannot handle the truth about our history in February, or any month for that matter, then we have no hope of agreement about our present.
On August 18, 1887, only ten years removed from Reconstruction 1863-1877, a group of twenty-seven Negro men led by Joe Clark convened with the purpose of founding, what would turn out to be, the first incorporated African American settlement community in the United States. Eatonville, the town born on that day, was named for a White man, Josiah Eaton, who served as mayor of the neighboring town of Maitland from which most of the future Eatonville residents originated.