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Sarasota historic home moves to new location to serve as African American Cultural Center

Sarasota historic home moves to new location to serve as African American Cultural Center
Posted at 9:22 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 21:22:01-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — A historical home that belonged to a man who helped establish Sarasota's first black community is being moved to a place where it will continue to bring people together.

"I used to come and visit this house when I was a little girl with my grandmother," Sarasota resident Mary Mack said.

Mack’s great uncle Leonard Reid built the one-story home near downtown Sarasota in 1926.

"Very important was Leonard Reid because he founded one of the first African American churches, and he was a leader in this African American community of Overtown," SAACC CEO Vickie Oldham said.

Leaders said Reid's church served as a beacon of hope for the black community, and it's something Mack hopes her uncle’s legacy will continue to do.

"Especially now when they’re trying to hide our true history, this would be a plus for our community," Mack said.

The home is being moved from its current location to city-owned property in the Newtown area of Sarasota.

"And transform it into an African American arts, history, and cultural center," Oldham said.

Crews are moving the nearly century-old home 2.6 miles overnight to have less impact on traffic, and it's a movement that city leaders hope will continue to inspire the community for years to come.