2024's America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

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DID YOU KNOW?

Fun Facts About P.E.C.

The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) aims to preserve and bring economic prosperity to Eatonville, FL, the oldest incorporated historic Black Town in the United States and the hometown of Zora Neale Hurston, charismatic writer, folklorist and anthropologist.

100 years after Eatonville’s incorporation, The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) was formed in 1987 to combat Orange County’s attempt to make the main road (Kennedy Boulevard) running through the town a five-lane highway.

Organized by our current Executive Director N.Y. Nathiri, the first formal meeting of The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) on Monday, December 7, 1987, saw about 175 individuals from Eatonville and Maitland rally at St. Lawrence A.M.E. Church in Eatonville with the purpose of collecting fifty thousand signatures by January of 1988 to present before the county commission to demand another public meeting.

The organization recruited Walter Kulash, a Maitland engineer, who conducted a traffic study free of charge. His analysis concluded that a two- to three-lane roadway adequately handled traffic in the area.

And thus began the work and legacy of the The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.).

Since 1988, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has used its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some of the nation’s greatest treasures.

Eatonville has joined its 2024 list and represents the only site designated as such as in the South, which further reiterates the importance of preserving this historic community.

The annual ZORA! Festival Season, first presented in 1990, and now with programming beginning in January and culminating in October, is a multi-disciplinary and inter-generational event, designed to:

  • Celebrate the life and work of charismatic, global literary icon, Zora Neale Hurston;
  • Celebrate the historic significance of her hometown Eatonville, FL which she popularized as “the first incorporated African-American municipality in the United States”; and
  • Celebrate the cultural contributions people of African ancestry have made to the United States and the world.

Continuing with its 1987 initiative, The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) has worked tirelessly throughout the decades to champion the cause of land preservation and retention. Our most current and pressing cause is the retention of the historic Hungerford Property.

With considerable guidance and assistance from the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) stands as an advocate for the voice and will of Eatonville residents.

I was born in a Negro town. I do not mean by that the black back-side of an average town. Eatonville, Florida, is, and was at the time of my birth, a pure Negro town–charter, mayor, council, town marshal and all. It was not the first Negro community in America, but it was the first to be incorporated, the first attempt at organized self-government on the part of Negroes in America.

Dust Tracks on A Road – Zora Neale Hurston

Author, folklorist and anthropologist

P.E.C.'s Executive Director, N.Y. Nathiri speaks on the historical significance of democracy.

JOIN US

Save the Dates!

We’re excited and welcome you to join us and participate in our upcoming annual events. Mark your calendars now! More details are soon to come.

Gathering & Gabbing

The virtual Zora Neale Hurston Book Club meets seven (7) times a year, [January, February, March, May, July, September, and November] at 3:00 PM Eastern for an hour-long discussion of books and materials by, about, and/or inspired by the global literary icon, Zora Neale Hurston.

Gathering & Gabbing

An ode to Zora's love for hats, HATitude is The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.)'s signature fashion-infused event. It is an homage to the role that fashion plays as a pivotal cultural element in the life of people of African ancestry.

ZORA!® Festival

Since 1990, the award-winning ZORA!® Festival is the nation's longest running arts and humanities festival celebrating the cultural contributions people of African ancestry have made to the world. Throughout the years the ZORA!® Festival has been a beacon of Black excellence.

Share these historic events #EatonvilleForever

INVEST IN P.E.C.

Help Us Meet The Marketplace

Secure the future of Eatonville and be a part of history!

IS THIS YOU?

The Cultural Heritage Traveler

Are you passionate about cultural and heritage travel? The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) invites you to be a part of preserving Eatonville’s rich history and culture.

With 78% of U.S. leisure travelers engaging in cultural and heritage activities, and spending an average of $994 per trip, cultural tourism is a vibrant and growing market. By becoming preservation partners, you can help us protect Eatonville’s historic sites and landmarks, ensuring they remain intact for future generations.

Join us in our mission to preserve Eatonville’s legacy and contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of our community. Together, we can make a difference!

IMAGE GALLERY

Eatonville in Pictures

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The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) is a tax-exempt, 501 (c) (3) organization (FEIN:59-2952662). Contributions to P.E.C. are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.