Banners showcase Blacks who made a difference in Daytona and beyond
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Black History Month is over, but local Black history icons continue to be honored with banners showcased in Daytona Beach.
On Feb. 27 after some delay and much anticipation, historical banners were revealed on International Speedway Boulevard between Nova Road and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The banners depict contributions made by 16 African Americans locally and beyond.
Those honored include many well-known local Black historical figures such as Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Jackie Robinson, Howard Thurman, James E. Huger Sr., Yvonne Scarlett Golden, Howard Thurman and more.
‘Pleased and proud’
The late Charles W. Cherry Sr., Daytona Times founder and civil rights activist, is also honored on one of the banners.
“Our family is pleased and proud that Dad continues to be recognized,” said former Daytona Times publisher, Charles W. Cherry, II. “It’s good to know that his many accomplishments, his activism and advocacy, especially for Black Daytonians, haven’t been forgotten.”
Also being honored is Merrill Lloyd, an electrician who had his own company, Lloyd’s Electric.
His sister, Lillie Fleming told the Times, “He was a servant to the community. He gave a lot of people jobs. Many who didn’t know anything about his industry were taught, trained and got licensed under his leadership.”
The historic banner campaign follows Greater Union Life Center’s (GLCU) program, which includes banner each year in downtown DeLand. The endeavor has spread to Lake Helen, Deltona and Daytona.
This year is the first year the banners are being featured in Daytona. The display began with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan 18 and will stay up until March 31.
“The significance and influence that African Americans have made is tremendously deep and wide across this city,” said Percy Williamson, chair of Midtown Community Development Corporation (MCDC).
“We want to recognize and uplift the first of many of our community pillars who in their own right made extraordinary contributions to this community.”
The MCDC spearheaded the banner campaign in Daytona. Sponsors include MCDC, the city of Daytona Beach, NAACP, Daytona Tortugas, Identity Church, Medallion, Inc. and F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival.
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
(July 10, 1875-May 18, 1955)
Founder of Bethune-Cookman University and National Council of Negro Women. Served as Director of the National Youth Administration under the Department of Minority Affairs under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Instrumental in the growth and development of Daytona Beach.
Mary Evelyn Bonner
First and longest tenured principal (1927-59) at Cypress St. Elementary (Bonner Elementary).
Rose Marie Byron
(Feb. 17, 1907-May 29, 1991)
Longtime educator who campaigner for equal pay for Black teachers. She built the Rose Marie Byron Center at 625 South St. and organized the first Halloween party at Cypress Street Recreation Center in 1946. She raised a daughter and more than 30 foster children.
Minnie Wiggins Campbell
(May 26, 1914-Feb. 16, 2002)
Owned the Campbell Hotel with husband Leigh, which was one of the few hotels where Blacks could stay during segregation.
Charles W. Cherry, Sr.
(Oct. 13, 1928-Nov. 16, 2004)
Civil rights activist and entrepreneur. Founder of the Daytona Times and Florida Courier newspapers. Once owned 11 radio stations and Mormen Realty Real Estate company. Served as Daytona Beach city commissioner. Served as local and state NAACP President.
U.S. Army veteran who was a legendary high school basketball and football coach. Also, coached baseball. He was the first football coach at Campbell Jr. High and first baseball coach at Spruce Creek High.
Dr. Evelyn Stocking Crosslin
First African-American woman to practice medicine in Volusia County. Her practice provided quality healthcare for many who couldn’t afford it. She also worked at Halifax Medical Center for 47 years.
(Feb. 1, 1926-Dec. 5, 2006)
Daytona’s first Black and only Black female Mayor (2003-2006). Former City Commissioner (1995-2003).
James E. Huger, Sr.
(Jan. 15, 1915-Oct. 14, 2016)
Daytona’s first Black city commissioner (1965-1971) and Volusia County’s first Black county councilman. Montford Point U.S. Marine. An educator, activist and humanitarian. Park named after him at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Orange Avenue.
Keturah Thompson Jackson
(Aug. 2, 1925-Dec. 22, 2011)
Former owner of Wimpy’s Restaurant at 818 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd. For years, she kept her prices low to accommodate college students and community.
Merrill Charles Lloyd
(Dec. 10, 1925-June 5, 2009)
Bethune-Cookman grad, World War II veteran and electrician. Owned Llyod’s Electric, which was one of the leading electric companies in Florida. Also, built several churches in Daytona, Jacksonville and Orlando.
The third president of Bethune-Cookman (1947-1975). Oversaw the school’s growth from 400 to 1,200 students, increased endowment and tripled buildings on campus. Instrumental in having Bethune-Cookman join the United Negro College Fund. The school’s gymnasium is named after him. Influential throughout Daytona Beach and Volusia County.
Jackie Roosevelt Robinson
(Jan. 31, 1919-Oct. 24, 1972)
Broke the Major League Baseball color barrier on April 15, 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. MVP (1949), batting title (1949) and World Series title (1955). Played Minor League Baseball at City Island in Daytona on March 6, 1946 with the Dodgers AAA affiliate Montreal Royals.
(July 27, 1918-April 12, 2003)
First Black female assistant principal in Volusia County. Longtime educator who helped transition the school district from segregation to integration.
(Feb. 22, 1913-Jan. 18, 1989)
Community leader, philanthropist, mortician and founder of Herbert Thompson Funeral home.
(Nov. 18, 1899-April 10, 1981)
Author, theologian, educator and civil rights leader. Mentored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His childhood home at 614 Whitehall St. is a historic site and a stop on the city’s Black Heritage Trail.
For more information on the honorees, visit https://www.codb.us.