Author Topic: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map  (Read 11957 times)

Cheshire Cat

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 12:12:19 PM »
Excellent article in every way Stephen!
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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 01:50:04 PM »
Thank you, Stephen!  What a great article, as usual.

dougskiles

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 01:51:30 PM »
Brilliantly done.  I am reading the history of La Villa that you sent me, Stephen.  Yesterday after a meeting at one of the newer suburban style offices built in La Villa I drove around.  It is sickened me to think about the character of what we destroyed.

Thanks guys! And Doug, that's just one aspect of the amazing history of that heritage from La Villa.  Its the site of some of the most incredible history in the US.  And we tore it down for a concrete gate courthouse.

I am eager for more.

As far as when the end started, if you ask me, it was the Jim Crow era.  The thriving black community popped to life almost instantly after the end of the civil war.  La Villa was incorporated in 1866.  Many of the businesses and properties were owned by African Americans.  Shortly after Jacksonville annexed La Villa in 1887, the Jim Crow laws started coming.  By 1907, the last remaining African American councilman, George Ross, was voted out of office.

I was surprised to find out that in 1900, not only was Jacksonville the largest city in Florida, the population was 57 percent African American.  Just imagine where we would be today if our city had chosen to celebrate diversity and the new economic freedom of an entire race, instead of finding ways to beat them down.

Tacachale

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 02:37:37 PM »
Brilliantly done.  I am reading the history of La Villa that you sent me, Stephen.  Yesterday after a meeting at one of the newer suburban style offices built in La Villa I drove around.  It is sickened me to think about the character of what we destroyed.

Thanks guys! And Doug, that's just one aspect of the amazing history of that heritage from La Villa.  Its the site of some of the most incredible history in the US.  And we tore it down for a concrete gate courthouse.

I am eager for more.

As far as when the end started, if you ask me, it was the Jim Crow era.  The thriving black community popped to life almost instantly after the end of the civil war.  La Villa was incorporated in 1866.  Many of the businesses and properties were owned by African Americans.  Shortly after Jacksonville annexed La Villa in 1887, the Jim Crow laws started coming.  By 1907, the last remaining African American councilman, George Ross, was voted out of office.

I was surprised to find out that in 1900, not only was Jacksonville the largest city in Florida, the population was 57 percent African American.  Just imagine where we would be today if our city had chosen to celebrate diversity and the new economic freedom of an entire race, instead of finding ways to beat them down.

What's remarkable is that Jacksonville had at least one black councilman from Reconstruction until 1907, despite the abandonment of federal protection for blacks and the onset of "The Nadir" of race relations in America. It shows how resilient Jacksonville's African American community has always been.
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thelakelander

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 03:01:34 PM »
What's remarkable is that Jacksonville had at least one black councilman from Reconstruction until 1907, despite the abandonment of federal protection for blacks and the onset of "The Nadir" of race relations in America. It shows how resilient Jacksonville's African American community has always been.

It also shows how far we've fallen.  For me it gets pretty frustrating at times. The good thing is that we've accomplished great things in the past, so we're not starting from scratch in trying to rebuild. We have a lot of potential. It's just a matter of not tripping over our own two feet, which is more difficult than most elsewhere would believe.
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Tacachale

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2013, 03:48:55 PM »
What's remarkable is that Jacksonville had at least one black councilman from Reconstruction until 1907, despite the abandonment of federal protection for blacks and the onset of "The Nadir" of race relations in America. It shows how resilient Jacksonville's African American community has always been.

It also shows how far we've fallen.  For me it gets pretty frustrating at times. The good thing is that we've accomplished great things in the past, so we're not starting from scratch in trying to rebuild. We have a lot of potential. It's just a matter of not tripping over our own two feet, which is more difficult than most elsewhere would believe.

Ha, I don't think 1907 was a time to look up to. After that African Americans were almost totally disenfranchised from voting in state and local elections for 39 years.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

thelakelander

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2013, 04:01:44 PM »
Quote
It also shows how far we've fallen.  For me it gets pretty frustrating at times. The good thing is that we've accomplished great things in the past, so we're not starting from scratch in trying to rebuild. We have a lot of potential. It's just a matter of not tripping over our own two feet, which is more difficult than most elsewhere would believe.

When said this, I wasn't speaking specifically of the African American community. I was talking about Jax in general.

With that said, Jacksonville's minority neighborhoods were more viable a century ago.  We (speaking as an African American) had no choice but to invest and live in specific neighborhoods like LaVilla and Sugar Hill.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 04:10:26 PM by thelakelander »
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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2013, 11:02:51 PM »
Who wants to go downtown..the conservative home guard have been working for years
To hand over the entire city to the first baptist church..i call for them to be taxed as the business they are and be banned from purchasing any more property downtown..its ridiculously how this group has been allowed control this city and its leaders....how many members from that church are on the  council?..im ashamed and imbarrassed by them and the way they treat people and the city

Why do you even bother to post this crap GG, though it does confirm you as a very low information citizen. How many members on the council? Perhaps you should ask how many members are involved in publishing MJ?  BTW, FBC is the ONLY institution in the downtown core to actually build out the urban plans of the last few decades, skywalks, street beautification, fountains, etc.

cityimrov

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2013, 11:18:41 PM »
What were cities like San Francisco doing during the same time? 

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2013, 12:51:44 AM »
Perhaps Garden guy is concerned about the essence of FBC which, by its very nature is a controlling entity; and this control, right in the midst of our urban core, a core which, by its very nature, should enjoy as much freedom as possible so that it might, through the efforts of all hard working and creative individuals in and near the core, emerge through the almost desolate landscape to a position of strength and vibrancy, a goal most of us appear to want for our urban core. 

Our urban core, through the natural process of adapting to changing technology and population growth, has suffered to partial desolation, has become wounded, weak, and dependent, as with a child.  Besides needing sacrifices from its guardians, a child needs the freedom to become independent, strong, and self-sustaining.   

Just as some guardians attempt, for their own selfish gain or comfort, to control and restrict their child so that it remains dependent and safe, so too it might be for some controlling entities in our urban core, those who gain monetary, physical, and/or spiritual comfort via the status quo.  Why should those in established physical or spiritual comfort seek change, or promote freedoms so that others can seek change?  The status quo is comfortable and safe for some, and if they are in positions of influence or control, why would they encourage real change?  Perhaps GG senses that money, wealth, and spiritual and physical comfort, goes hand in hand with power and influence; and therefore hand in hand with control, conservatism and the status quo. 

I suspect that GG is frustrated, and that he occasionally throws a rock in the general direction of the church, knowing that something is wrong, something is going on in that spiritual bulwark which is not good for the urban core.  Perhaps he cannot describe in detail the exact mechanism making up what he perceives as a threat to the urban core’s attempt to grow to a vibrant and self-sustaining powerhouse of independence, but he senses at least one direction from which the threat comes.

GG, along with some others, might be haunted by the question as to whether we want a dominate church surrounded by a weak and dependent urban core, or do we want a strong independent, free, and vibrant urban core which has a church within.  As for my opinion about the subject…. I’m still thinking.  Perhaps another beer might help clarify my thoughts.   
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 09:19:39 AM by ronchamblin »

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2013, 01:24:07 PM »
Perhaps Garden guy is concerned about the essence of FBC which, by its very nature is a controlling entity; and this control, right in the midst of our urban core, a core which, by its very nature, should enjoy as much freedom as possible so that it might, through the efforts of all hard working and creative individuals in and near the core, emerge through the almost desolate landscape to a position of strength and vibrancy, a goal most of us appear to want for our urban core. 

Our urban core, through the natural process of adapting to changing technology and population growth, has suffered to partial desolation, has become wounded, weak, and dependent, as with a child.  Besides needing sacrifices from its guardians, a child needs the freedom to become independent, strong, and self-sustaining.   

Just as some guardians attempt, for their own selfish gain or comfort, to control and restrict their child so that it remains dependent and safe, so too it might be for some controlling entities in our urban core, those who gain monetary, physical, and/or spiritual comfort via the status quo.  Why should those in established physical or spiritual comfort seek change, or promote freedoms so that others can seek change?  The status quo is comfortable and safe for some, and if they are in positions of influence or control, why would they encourage real change?  Perhaps GG senses that money, wealth, and spiritual and physical comfort, goes hand in hand with power and influence; and therefore hand in hand with control, conservatism and the status quo. 

I suspect that GG is frustrated, and that he occasionally throws a rock in the general direction of the church, knowing that something is wrong, something is going on in that spiritual bulwark which is not good for the urban core.  Perhaps he cannot describe in detail the exact mechanism making up what he perceives as a threat to the urban core’s attempt to grow to a vibrant and self-sustaining powerhouse of independence, but he senses at least one direction from which the threat comes.

GG, along with some others, might be haunted by the question as to whether we want a dominate church surrounded by a weak and dependent urban core, or do we want a strong independent, free, and vibrant urban core which has a church within.  As for my opinion about the subject…. I’m still thinking.  Perhaps another beer might help clarify my thoughts.   


I think you give GG too much credit... his drive-byes are legendary... it is doubtful he will even read these responses..
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Redbaron616

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2013, 08:28:39 PM »
If you want downtown to boom, don't hand the job over to the city government. Sell the property to private enterprise and they will figure out how to make the land provide an income for them. It certainly worked in the past. Why is free enterprise despised and more government control and expenditures welcomed? The government spends at least twice or three times what the private sector would to obtain the same result.

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2013, 10:37:12 AM »
This is Roderick, who played "N'Della" in Jennifer's play, "Majigeen;" I'd like to thank you for this site. I have learned so much more about Black Jacksonville since I started checking this out. You need a bigger stage...

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2013, 12:54:21 PM »
I live in 5 Points and I cherish whatever is left of the old downtown. And I wonder about people who don't mourn the lost glory of our city. But lately I feel the decline and dynamite-fueled response was due to the rise of new technology, not the result of greed or stupidity. The original downtowns of cities arose because that's where the ports were. Cities grow at bottlenecks of commerce, so if the ships had to dock downtown, then that's where all the trains, producers, manufacturers, banks, and insurers (all the employers) had to set up and so that's where everyone had to live. No one complained when the technologies of the steamship and train created a boom in downtown Jacksonville, but later technologies like highways created a bust that we are still dealing with. We should focus less on negative-nostalgia and more on our vision for how Jacksonville can take advantage of today's technologies to become a leader among cities.

The post-WWII period destroyed the natural monopoly of cities as centers of commerce. When did cargo ships get so large that the ports had to move closer to the ocean? When did the highway system pull cargo off of ships and onto trucks? When did cars become affordable for everyone to ride the new highways? Although it is an island of finance and luxury now, Manhattan was once mostly factories and wharves! After WWI, it had the same problems and the same responses Jacksonville had. We have already forgotten how by the 1970s New York City had become a worrying symbol of national failure. Robert Caro's famous 1974 book about New York City's famous dynamiter and builder Robert Moses was subtitled "The Fall of New York". Would anyone say today that New York City is "fallen"? The factories are gone, but the city grabbed hold of finance at the start of a global financial boom and has been reborn.

I think we need to step away from the nostalgia some times and the glamorous cities in our minds that never really existed except for an elite, lucky few. Cities were pretty filthy place for a long time. Would anyone like the paper factories to reopen downtown to dump stinky pollution into the air and river? Living away from the dirt and noise of the city was a dream-come-true for most. For better or worse, the factories are gone and downtown is now a very clean place ready for a fresh start fresh.

The rise of the information economy and technology in general have given us the oppurtunity to make the downtown better than it ever was. We can reclaim the good parts of the past cities (democracy, culture, commerce) without all the bad parts (pollution, pollution, pollution). To make the downtown a part of the new economy, we need new types of businesses and institutions to move there. UNF's acqusition of MOCA was thrilling to me, because I've seen how VCU has transformed downtown Richmond, and how NYU has filled Greenich Village in Manhattan. UNF should continue expanding downtown with a new law school right near the courthouses and the business school right next to the banks. That would be a job-oriented "public-private partnership" that the mayor says he loves. I'm not saying that we don't need people in occupations of all kinds -- I think the elimination of vocational training in our high schools has been a tragedy for young people. But I am thinking strategically about capturing the BIG money that flows to the cutting-edge businesses that move where the workers are educated and the government and universities are intertwined.

The old downtown was doomed. Dynamiting was a well-intentioned, drastic, and unfortunately ineffective way to try to change the city into something new for the post-WWII economy. Who could have predicted how far cars and television would change our society? My point is that this we need to focus on ideas for downtown that are a part of the high-end of the new global economy. We don't want to compete with China, because those jobs are terrible and pay nothing. The reason China is growing so fast is because it was so poor that there was nowhere to go but up. We want to compete with Houston and Charlotte as one of the new centers of educated workers. In the 1800s, Jacksonville was in a prime position for citrus and timber. What will be our niche in the 21st century?

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Re: Four Things That Nearly Wiped Jacksonville Off The Map
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2013, 01:49:55 PM »
I live in 5 Points and I cherish whatever is left of the old downtown. And I wonder about people who don't mourn the lost glory of our city. But lately I feel the decline and dynamite-fueled response was due to the rise of new technology, not the result of greed or stupidity. The original downtowns of cities arose because that's where the ports were. Cities grow at bottlenecks of commerce, so if the ships had to dock downtown, then that's where all the trains, producers, manufacturers, banks, and insurers (all the employers) had to set up and so that's where everyone had to live. No one complained when the technologies of the steamship and train created a boom in downtown Jacksonville, but later technologies like highways created a bust that we are still dealing with. We should focus less on negative-nostalgia and more on our vision for how Jacksonville can take advantage of today's technologies to become a leader among cities.

The post-WWII period destroyed the natural monopoly of cities as centers of commerce. When did cargo ships get so large that the ports had to move closer to the ocean? When did the highway system pull cargo off of ships and onto trucks? When did cars become affordable for everyone to ride the new highways? Although it is an island of finance and luxury now, Manhattan was once mostly factories and wharves! After WWI, it had the same problems and the same responses Jacksonville had. We have already forgotten how by the 1970s New York City had become a worrying symbol of national failure. Robert Caro's famous 1974 book about New York City's famous dynamiter and builder Robert Moses was subtitled "The Fall of New York". Would anyone say today that New York City is "fallen"? The factories are gone, but the city grabbed hold of finance at the start of a global financial boom and has been reborn.

I think we need to step away from the nostalgia some times and the glamorous cities in our minds that never really existed except for an elite, lucky few. Cities were pretty filthy place for a long time. Would anyone like the paper factories to reopen downtown to dump stinky pollution into the air and river? Living away from the dirt and noise of the city was a dream-come-true for most. For better or worse, the factories are gone and downtown is now a very clean place ready for a fresh start fresh.

The rise of the information economy and technology in general have given us the oppurtunity to make the downtown better than it ever was. We can reclaim the good parts of the past cities (democracy, culture, commerce) without all the bad parts (pollution, pollution, pollution). To make the downtown a part of the new economy, we need new types of businesses and institutions to move there. UNF's acqusition of MOCA was thrilling to me, because I've seen how VCU has transformed downtown Richmond, and how NYU has filled Greenich Village in Manhattan. UNF should continue expanding downtown with a new law school right near the courthouses and the business school right next to the banks. That would be a job-oriented "public-private partnership" that the mayor says he loves. I'm not saying that we don't need people in occupations of all kinds -- I think the elimination of vocational training in our high schools has been a tragedy for young people. But I am thinking strategically about capturing the BIG money that flows to the cutting-edge businesses that move where the workers are educated and the government and universities are intertwined.

The old downtown was doomed. Dynamiting was a well-intentioned, drastic, and unfortunately ineffective way to try to change the city into something new for the post-WWII economy. Who could have predicted how far cars and television would change our society? My point is that this we need to focus on ideas for downtown that are a part of the high-end of the new global economy. We don't want to compete with China, because those jobs are terrible and pay nothing. The reason China is growing so fast is because it was so poor that there was nowhere to go but up. We want to compete with Houston and Charlotte as one of the new centers of educated workers. In the 1800s, Jacksonville was in a prime position for citrus and timber. What will be our niche in the 21st century?

I think this may have been true, to a certain extent up until the 80s, but the part thirty years has just been bad decisions, racism and cupidity.
cu·pid·i·ty 
/kyo͞oˈpiditē/
Noun
Greed for money or possessions.
Synonyms
greed - avarice - avidity - rapacity - greediness "Stephen you're right on the money!" ;)