City of Sarasota Logo
City Hall
1565 First Street
Sarasota, FL 34236


Sarasota, FL: Educational materials will be on display at City Hall, 1565 First Street, commemorating Black History Month beginning Tues., February 16, 2010. Materials will include photographs and newspaper articles charting the history of racial integration in Sarasota County.

Ten displays will be placed in the City Hall lobby for public viewing. One display will document the integration of Venice Elementary School in southern Sarasota County. A photograph will show Dorothye Smith teaching the first integrated class in Sarasota County in 1967. Other pictures will include the principal and staff from that era.

“These displays will give historical background to people, so they know what it was like at that time,” said Dorothye Smith, a City of Sarasota resident, local Black History Month organizer and the teacher who integrated Venice Elementary School. “Back then, we didn’t know what was happening because we were segregated. Now, there’s been so much progress. You can never forget your heritage.”

The display is being organized for the second straight year by Ms. Smith and Mary Edmunds. It will be open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, through February 28th.

For more information, please contact:
Jan Thornburg, Public Information Officer (941) 954-2613