7 Black Facts About Jax You Didn't Already Know!

February 2, 2016 8 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

In celebration of Black History Month, here's a few things you probably didn't know about Jacksonville.

2. Before American Beach, Jacksonville's Manhattan Beach was the place to go

The 447-acre Hanna Park is one of Jacksonville's most visited public spaces. A little known fact is that the property was also home to Manhattan Beach, Florida's first beach for African Americans during segregation. Manhattan Beach was established by Henry Flagler and his Florida East Coast Railroad company around 1900, for the African American workers that they employed.

Hanna Park today

The park flourished for many years, until about 1940, when it was superseded by another destination, Amelia Island's American Beach. A few years later, the land was donated by Winthrop Bancroft, who required in exchange, the name be changed to Kathryn Abbey Hanna. Hanna was a teacher and author from Chicago, who moved to Florida and served on the board of Parks and Historical Places. During the 1970s, the City of Jacksonville acquired additional property, expanding Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.

Hanna Park today

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