Tag Archives: Clara White Mission

Where the Jacksonville Woman’s Club Stood

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It’s not a “demolition,” they say. It’s a “salvage.” Either way, the Jacksonville Woman’s Club building is gone. Causes seen as primarily “women’s” have encountered the same contradictory status of being both exalted and discounted that women themselves have historically experienced. The “Woman’s Club

Movement” owns an important place in the history of feminism, leading even to #metoo. The headline declaimed, “Quadruple Amputee to Get Degree and Bride this Week.” Mellen Greeley, the architect who built the Woman’s Club building, “said the secret to living a long life was being a peaceful person.” My daugthers will always identify by their own names. They’ll never be Mrs. Somebody-Else.

Kimberly Daniels’ Lunatic Politics Owes Much to her Father’s Legacy

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This past week, Folio Weekly‘s A.G. Gancarski wrote of wealthy Jaxsons like Peter Rummell and Gary Chartrand helping bankroll Kimberly Daniels’s campaign for state representative. Daniels says she’s sick of hearing about the Holocaust, that she’s thankful for slavery, that gay people are a demon-possessed “army of darkness,” and that sometimes after a City Council meeting, “I go home and sometimes I talk to people with demon voices coming out of them.” She’s written prayers people can recite to “renounce masturbation.”

Daniels’s father, Andrew Preston Perkins, ran for City Council too. He was a member of the Boomerang Gang, which provided armed escorts for black City Council members. As a child, Kimberly Daniels spent time in her father’s bar in LaVilla, Perk and Loretta’s Soul Lounge, which featured drag shows, decades before Daniels performed exorcisms to cast out homosexual demons, and years before undercover cops bought crack cocaine and heroin at Perk’s.

Hansontown Lies Beneath FSCJ’s Downtown Campus

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Hansontown lies beneath Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Downtown Campus, figuratively and, in part, literally.

When Florida Junior College consolidated its downtown locations into the new Downtown Campus in the late 1970s, it eliminated the last of Hansontown, a century-old neighborhood built for freed slaves and former U.S. Colored Troops.

Some FSCJ leaders now espouse views on urbanism much like those the college abandoned by building Downtown Campus.

The Clara White Mission Remains the Humanitarian Heart of Jax

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If the goodness, kindness, and mercy enacted in a particular building, on a certain quadrant of earth, can accrue across the years, then the Clara White Mission should be a pilgrimage site and 613 Ashley Street in LaVilla is sacred ground.

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At the turn of 1974, Eartha was the tiny, bird-like, Old-Testament-but-New-Testament saint at the center of town. She died in January. I was born in June. I so wish I could have met her.

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When I saw Eartha White look out at me from the open doors of Roosevelt Watson III’s major artwork, I saw her as I’d never seen her but also as she’d visited me, angelically and ghostly, when I’d most needed to find her before.

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New Story: White Harvest Farms

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The history at White Harvest Farms, for a century or more known as Moncrief Springs, runs deeper than the incinerator ash excavated and removed to restore this land to that holiest use of the planet earth–community farming.

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