WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — This week, both the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and the African American Research Library and Cultural Center of Palm Beach County will give attention to the work Ineria E. Hudnell has done to preserve black history in the county.
On April 26, Hudnell will unveil her exhibit of black history in Palm Beach at its permanent home, the former Roosevelt High School.
“This is a milestone,” Floyd Andrews, the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center of Palm Beach County president and a graduate of the school said in a statement. “We have worked diligently to find a permanent home for Mrs. Hudnell’s collection.”
Former classrooms at the school will house more than 400 articles, photographs and memorabilia that document more than 100 years of African American history in Palm Beach County. Hudnell has been preserving the county’s black history since 1978. She started a traveling exhibit in 1982, when Hudnell put together all she had collected thus far. Over time, Hudnell has displayed the items at schools, businesses and various functions throughout the county and the state.
Andrews said the Hudnell Collection sets the foundation as AARLCC of Palm Beach gathers, safeguards and protects other materials.
“The goal is to maintain the current exhibition and to continue the center’s research across the area to discover additional artifacts and information,” Andrews said.
Also happening this week, the former educator and historian will receive from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award. The award honors and is named for the late Judge James R. Knott, who served as president of the society for 12 years, from 1957 to 1969. She was nominated by someone in the community and she was clearly worth of the recognition, said the society’s president and CEO Jeremy W. Johnson.
“The Historical Society of Palm Beach County is delighted to present this award to Mrs. Hudnell for all the outstanding work she has done archiving the significant contributions of the African-American community,” Johnson said.
Hudnell will receive the award April 22 at the society’s annual meeting. Past awardees include Donald Trump, the Flagler Museum and the Palm Beach Post.
Born in Jacksonville almost a century ago, Hudnell devoted much of her life to enriching the lives of students in Palm Beach County. She taught and served as dean for more than 30 years and spent more than 60 years as an artist and historian.
Hudnell received a bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University in 1943, with a major in English and French.
Hudnell’s son Earl Hudnell said his mother is excited about the award and the permanent home for her exhibit.
“She’s 93 but I’ll get her to both of the events,” Earl Hudnell said.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Unveiling of the permanent home for Ineria E. Hudnell’s traveling exhibit about blacks in Palm Beach County
WHEN: 5 p.m., reception, 6 p.m. program, April 22
WHERE: Old Roosevelt High, 1601 N. Tamarind Ave., West Palm Beach
COST: Tickets to the event cost $20 each and can be mailed to African American Research Library and Cultural Center, Atten: Annie Nelson, P.O. Box 173, West Palm Beach, FL 33402-0173.