Thursday, September 1, 2011

The division of white and African American people has affected the perception of Winter Park because it creates a sense of pride between the people of the parts of the community. A very important part that affected the perception of Winter Park is the railroad tracks that run through the center of the town. The tracks seperate the white and black sides of the community, creating a sense of unity in the two halves. The white side was the rich, prosperous side, designed as a vacation spot for wealthy people. The black side was designed to be the work force of the resort area, and as such were generally poor blacks who worked hard for little money. The economic division only added to the segregation, and the whites used force sometimes to enforce the segregation. The purpose for this was because Winter Park was created as a resort area, and so African Americans were not allowed in because it ruined the sense of upper class that the resort was designed to have.
African Americans were essentially forced to stay on their side of the track, and some were even beaten for crossing into the wealthy side of town. As a result, the individual sides created a sense or unity for their own culture, particularly on the African American side. Hannibal Square, a location on tht side, became a hub of African American culture in the area. Several stores appeared, and the community helped each other when they needed to. During the tour of Hannibal Square, we learned that several women in the area helped some of the local workers when they needed it. One woman would wash clothes and cook for single men who did not have a woman to take care of them. This showed the closeness of the community, and how they were very philanthropic and commited to the welfare of the people in their own side of the community. However, they never helped people on the other side of the tracks, which only added to the sense of segregation.
The sense of segregation has lessened, but the sense of unity on either side of the tracks is still strong. Lately the locals of Hannibal Square have tried to regain their heritage, because much of it was spread out and survived as an oral history. The segregation may still be present, but the sense of unity and pride is still present in Winter Park.

1 comment:

  1. Is there a sense of unity? What indication do we have of the shared perspective you indicate? While we can't predetermine conflict or feeling, issues of race and class are real and the question remains about the community's cohesion.