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FL developer drops 100-acre land buy in traditionally Black city

A developer on Friday ended plans to buy a 100-acre property from the native college system in a traditionally Black city in Florida following a public outcry that the deal threatened the cultural heritage of the group made well-known by Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston.

Derek Bruce stated in a letter to Orange County Public Colleges in Orlando that he had terminated the deal to buy the land the place a former college for Black college students stood within the city of Eatonville. The college system stated in an announcement that it would not think about any additional bids for the land.

“This determination presents us with a brand new alternative to collaborate with the Eatonville group to protect and have a good time the City’s historic and cultural significance because the oldest included Black city within the U.S.,” the college system stated within the assertion.


An affiliation devoted to preserving Eatonville’s cultural historical past final week sued to cease the $14.6 million deal, claiming it threatened the cultural heritage of the city. The developer had plans to construct 350 properties, in addition to enterprise areas, elevating fears the undertaking would enhance visitors and worth out longtime residents of the city.

With a inhabitants of round 2,350 individuals, of whom nearly three-quarters are Black, Eatonville is maybe finest recognized by means of the writings of Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston. The city was the setting for one among her finest recognized works, “Their Eyes Have been Watching God.”

Based in 1887, Eatonville was among the many early all-Black included municipalities established within the many years after the tip of slavery within the U.S. Round 1,200 Black cities or settlements have been established within the late 19th century and early 20th century, in accordance with the Historic Black Cities and Settlements Alliance.

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