Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs

Article excerpt

Lu Vickers and Cynthia Wilson-Graham. Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2015. 228pp. ISBN: 978-0-8130-6152-8. $34.95.

This book offers the history of Paradise Park the "colored only" counterpart of Silver Springs in central Florida, on a major river, but away from the seaside beaches. Silver Springs was the sight for major motion pictures and television shows, as well as for beauty contests, and various other social and cultural events. It was heavily advertised for its boat rides, with black and white colored boats on each side of the river. The park was very popular between its founding in 1949 and its gradual closing at the end of segregation in 1969. The book concludes that Paradise Park is an artifact of African American culture and that it should not be forgotten by historians, environmentalists and business people alike. There have been no attempts to reopen it over the decades, and there hasn't even been a small monument or a plaque put up honoring it as a historical place. There is not much left on the spot that might remind visitors of its prior existence. The authors wrote the book not only to record all of the cultural events and significances that this Park holds, but also to lobby Florida to recognize it as a historical landmark worthy of preservation or re-opening. …

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