Sarasota News Leader

10/12/12

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LONG TIME COMING The marker unveiled on Oct. 6 tells a story of struggle and determination. Photo by Scott Proffitt MARKER DEDICATION A TIME FOR REFLECTING ON HOW SOCIETY HAS CHANGED By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer On Saturday, Oct. 6, Sarasota County resi- dents gathered for the dedication of a marker at the Lido Beach Pavilion — the 95th such dedication in conjunction with the Sarasota County Historical Commission, according to Ruthmary Williams, chairwoman of the His- torical Marker Committee. So maybe one would think the 95th was not such a big story, not a big deal. But as John McCarthy, one of the guest speak- ers and the highly respected, retired general manager of the Sarasota Parks and Recreation Department, eloquently pointed out, "This marker is different. This marker isn't about a building or a new historic district. This marker is about an ideal, about courage and freedom." And he is right. The marker was put in place to celebrate the achievement of a goal, the re- alization of a dream long wished for and hard won. The marker reads as follows: BEACH SEGREGATION Beaches, a cherished asset to Sarasota County, were not always welcoming to Sarasota's African-American communi- ties. Prior to Brown vs. the Board of Ed- ucation and Rosa Parks' refusal to give

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