Celebrating a King

School relives early days of segregation, integration

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 10:05 p.m.
Students, parents and faculty of the Micanopy Area Cooperative School remembered the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recently with a special program in the Strobles Center on Seminary Avenue.
The building was once part of a Micanopy elementary school for African-American children during segregation.
The Micanopy Area Cooperative School occupies the site of the former black elementary school, which was closed in the late 1960s when public schools were integrated in the area.
To commemorate what would have been King's 75th birthday, the school invited area guest speakers to talk about what life was like during the years when black students and white students attended separate schools.
Introducing the program was Sandy Daniels, a longtime Micanopy resident who completed her elementary school years in Micanopy's all-black school, and who now has four grandchildren enrolled in the charter school.
Evelyn Fox, representing the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and the local chapter of the NAACP, conveyed the greetings of both organizations and expressed hope that students of Micanopy Area Cooperative School would someday live up to the dreams and aspirations that King had for all people.
Joel Buchanan, who was among the first African-American students to attend Gainesville High School, shared his experiences with the children
He described the beliefs and practices prevalent during segregation that made it difficult for positive interaction between the races.
He told students that he hopes the changes made since that time will continue and that the day will eventually come when all barriers between the races will disappear.
The Micanopy Area Cooperative School opened about eight years ago and now has approximately 130 students from kindergarten to eighth grade.
Ed Geers can be reached at ed_sa_g@hotmail.com, or 466-3835.

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