Goldsboro, a bustling all-black community west of French Avenue in Sanford, was established in 1891. If the City of Sanford had not annexed Goldsboro, there would have been two all-black incorporated cities in Central Florida—Eatonville and Goldsboro.
Former slaves founded Orlando’s first African American community about 1880, when Sam Jones and his wife, Penny, settled along the banks of Fern Creek, about a mile east of Orlando’s downtown. Orlando’s promise of growth and prosperity attracted other African Americans hoping to find new lives in Florida.
Known during her lifetime as the “First Lady of Negro America,” Mary McLeod Bethune is remembered for her contributions as an educator and civil rights activist. Although the founding of Bethune-Cookman University is probably her most well-known accomplishment, it is one of many.