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Publication Date

Summer 2023


The development of the Robert Hungerford Normal and Industrial School is an important chapter in the history of African American education in Florida. Through careful examinations of the school publications, records, archival correspondence, and newspaper clippings, the article seeks to document the history of the Hungerford School from its founding in the late nineteenth century until it became a public school in the Orange County, Florida in the early 1950s. Following Booker T. Washington’s ideals, the school was established with a great emphasis on economic self-help and individual advancement for African Americans. Its mission was to teach vocational skills to Black youths in addition to a good work ethic, sound morals, and fundamental human values. By focusing on its curriculum development, student work, personnel, facilities, school operations, financial struggles, and community support, this research also sheds lights on the challenges and endeavors of African Americans and the race relations in the Jim Crow era. For over fifty years in the segregated South, Hungerford had become a cornerstone of the community and served the educational needs of African American youths in Central Florida and beyond. Even today, the school still remains an emblem of Black pride and hope in the historic African American community of Eatonville, Florida.

Publication Title

Phylon: The Clark Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture


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