WEST PALM BEACH — Lincoln Park-Coleman Park Culture and History Committee will honor 10 history makers at a Pioneer Recognition Program and Reception this weekend. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, at 11 a.m., at Coleman Park,1116 21st St., West Palm Beach.
The honorees’ names will be inscribed on baseballs that will be on view after the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.
The honorees are:
Preston William Sampson III, who has painted a series of works that portray the life and play of Negro League baseball players, for contributions in arts and culture.
George W. Jefferson and William Augustus Wilson, the first black men to form a union in Palm Beach, are recognized for contributions to business. Rev. Herman McCray, a civil rights leader and founder of McCray’s Backyard BBQ, for community service and governmental contributions. He died in 2013.
Ulysses B. Kinsey, who was an educator for nearly 50 years. He served as principal of Palmview Elementary School and retired from the district in 1989. The school was later re-named UB Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School. Kinsey was among the four people who sued the Palm Beach County School Board in 1942 seeking equal pay for African-American teachers. Later, he was part of legal action taken against the School Board seeking an equal number of school days for African-American students. He died in 2005.
Judge I.C. Smith was one of the research lawyers on the renowned Brown vs. Board of Education case. He was instrumental in desegregating Palm Beach County’s public schools, integrating the West Palm Beach municipal golf course and eliminating separate eating and bathroom facilities on Florida’s Turnpike, according to a Plam Beach Post obituary. He died in 2012.
T. Leroy Jefferson was the first black doctor in Palm Beach County. Today, all black doctors in the county are members of the T. Leroy Society. Iona Small Drayton, the mother of James Drayton, founder of the African American Film Festival. Iona Drayton, along with honoree Camilla Wright, were among the first black women who registered to vote in Palm Beach County. They are recognized for their contributions to politics. Coach Richard Brooks Sr., for his contributions to sports and recreation.
The 10 history makers are being recognized for their vision, determination and service in assisting in the progressive development of the communities and the upward mobility of its citizens.
“Community events like this help us remember that history is made by people living their everyday lives with courage and conviction, seeking to forge a better path for those who come after them,” said Myra Leavy-Bazemore, manager of the Palm Beach County School District’s African and African American, Latino, and Gender Studies Office.
The event is being hosted by the Lincoln Park-Coleman Park Culture and History Committee to honor those who made significant achievements in the areas of business, community service, government, education, law, medicine, politics and sports and recreation.
Lincoln Park, formerly a sugar cane and pineapple field, was established next to the Seaboard Railroad on 21st Street, near Tamarind Avenue in the 1920s. The park held sports events for Industrial and Roosevelt High schools and became famous for hosting Negro League Baseball games. In 1967, the park’s name was changed to Coleman Park in acknowledgement of George P. Coleman, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist.
For information about the Pioneer Recognition Program and Reception, call 561-856-8245 or email Deborah G.R. Raing, firstname.lastname@example.org