Old Dillard Museum, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a treasured landmark in the city’s historic Sistrunk neighborhood. The museum […]
Old Dillard Museum, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a treasured landmark in the city’s historic Sistrunk neighborhood. The museum is located at 1009 NW 4th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. The museum serves as a cultural and educational center dedicated to preserving the legacy and heritage of the area’s African American community.
The building that houses the museum was originally built in 1924 as the Dillard High School, the first public school for African Americans in Fort Lauderdale. The school was named after James H. Dillard, a prominent educator and advocate for African American education in the South. The school operated for over 40 years and produced many notable alumni, including E. Clay Shaw Jr., the former U.S. Representative for Florida’s 22nd congressional district.
After the school closed in 1965, the building served as a center for various community programs and organizations. In the late 1980s, a group of community leaders and activists came together to save the building from demolition and turn it into a museum dedicated to the history and culture of the Sistrunk neighborhood.
Today, the Old Dillard Museum is a thriving cultural institution that offers a range of exhibits, events, and educational programs. The museum’s permanent exhibits focus on the history of the Dillard High School and its impact on the community, as well as the contributions of African Americans to the city of Fort Lauderdale and the wider world.
One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is the Dillard High School History Gallery, which showcases artifacts, photographs, and documents from the school’s early days. Visitors can see old yearbooks, graduation programs, and even a vintage classroom from the 1930s. The exhibit highlights the challenges and triumphs of African American education during the era of segregation and the important role that the Dillard High School played in the community.
The museum also features rotating exhibits that explore different aspects of African American history and culture. Recent exhibits have included “African Americans and the Vote,” which traced the history of African American suffrage in the United States, and “Black Women in American History,” which highlighted the contributions of African American women to various fields, including science, politics, and the arts.
In addition to its exhibits, the Old Dillard Museum also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including lectures, film screenings, and live performances. These events are designed to engage the community and promote the museum’s mission of preserving and celebrating African American culture.
The museum’s educational programs are a key part of its outreach efforts. The museum offers workshops, classes, and field trips for students of all ages, with a focus on African American history, art, and culture. The museum also hosts a summer camp for children that includes hands-on activities, field trips, and guest speakers.
Overall, the Old Dillard Museum is an important cultural institution that plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the heritage of Fort Lauderdale’s African American community. Through its exhibits, events, and educational programs, the museum continues to inspire and educate visitors from all backgrounds, while fostering a deeper appreciation for the rich history and culture of the Sistrunk neighborhood.
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