DATE: February 3, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Mills
Broward County Parks and Recreation Division
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - February 1 marks the beginning of Black History Month, an annual commemoration that was established in 1976 to highlight the contributions of African-Americans to the cultures of the United States and Canada. The designation was an expansion of Negro History Week, which dates back to 1926 and encompassed the birthdays of both the abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
Broward County's Parks and Recreation Division offers two neighborhood parks that provide a good place to start to learn about the County’s distinctive pan-African cultural heritage. Across the parking lot from the County’s acclaimed African-American Research Library and Cultural Center – one of only three of its kind in the nation – you’ll find Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park. The park’s namesake was one of Fort Lauderdale’s first black police officers, as well as a community activist, politician, businessman, civil rights leader and street minister. In 1979, two years after Reverend Delevoe was fatally shot, the park was rededicated in honor of his outstanding contributions. In homage to him and many other notable community figures, an art installation in the park, called Pillars of the Community, displays 84 names of leaders past and present. The project is part of the County’s Public Art and Design Program.
Just north of Delevoe Park is Franklin Park, with its brightly colored playground and a thousand-foot-long walkway that runs through the park. The walkway and the benches that line it make up an installation known as The Word Garden, created by Broward artists Angela Curreri and Rick Yasko, that celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa in both Swahili and English. This is also a Public Art and Design project.
Along with these major public art projects, Delevoe Park’s 36 acres feature areas for fishing, a picnic shelter, a playground, a canoe launch and sports facilities. Franklin Park, at 3.1 acres, offers basketball courts, a playground, picnic shelters, a walking trail, a weight room, and a community center. Both parks are included in the After-School Program and the annual Summer Recreation Program sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Division.
For more information, call Delevoe at 954-357-8801, Franklin at 954-357-7080, or the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center at 954-625-2800.