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Eatonville, Fla., America’s Oldest African-American City, Is 130 Years Old This Year

Photo credit: Steven Lemongello for the Orlando Sentinel

EATONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The town that’s described as the oldest continuously existing African-American city in the United States is celebrating its 130th birthday.

Celebrations in Eatonville, Fla., kick off Saturday with a crafts and culture festival. The city received its charter from the state of Florida in August 1887.

It was conceived as a self-governing all-Black town for African-Americans living in central Florida at the time.

It’s most famous resident was the author Zora Neale Hurston. She used Eatonville as a setting of her most famous book, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

Today, Eatonville has nearly 2,300 residents and U.S. Census Bureau data says 85 percent of its residents are Black.

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