Virtual Book Club – Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs with co-authors Lu Vickers and Cynthia Wilson-Graham
In 2020, the Book Club with the MFA dives in to books by or about female authors, artists and activists, with discussions centered on topical issues and themes universal to all: empowerment, artistic and creative excellence, and the push for equality for all. And now the Book Club is online. For August, we are reading Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs by Lu Vickers and Cynthia Wilson-Graham. We will join together on Zoom with the co-authors for this special Virtual Book Club! This online event is free, but registration is required and will be limited to 50 participants. Register by clicking here.
Silver Springs was Florida’s only attraction to operate a parallel facility for African-Americans (closed 1969), but its story has been overlooked in conversations around Florida’s tourism industry. Paradise Park, billed as the “colored only” counterpart to Silver Springs for 20 years, came to be viewed as a place of delight and leisure for African-American families during the painful era of Jim Crow. Though both parks shared the same river, patrons rarely crossed paths, and leisure took different forms in each park. This book takes a look back at the forces leading to the creation of this vital part of Florida’s history.
About the authors:
Lu Vickers has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for fiction, and has received two Florida Book awards and three Florida Individual Artist Fellowships for fiction. In addition to writing Remembering Paradise Park (with Cynthia Wilson Graham), she has written the novel Breathing Underwater and three other Florida history books: Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids, Cypress Gardens, America’s Tropical Wonderland, and Weeki Wachee, Thirty Years of Underwater Photography, with Bonnie Georgiadis.
Cynthia Wilson-Graham is an educator, historian, and photographer whose advocacy was instrumental to the installation of a historical marker by the Bureau of Historic Preservation at the former entrance to Paradise Park. She is the CEO of Helping Hand Photography and Publishing, is a volunteer with the Marion County Children’s Alliance, and served as the 1st Vice President for the NAACP.