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City of Thomasville Seeks Photos, Stories From Public For Project Commemorating West Jackson Street's Black History

A black and white photo of West Jackson Street.
Provided By City of Thomasville
Thomasville History Center
The City of Thomasville wants people to share photos and stories of West Jackson Street from the 40s and 50s. Back then, the area was a hub for African Americans. The city hopes to display these photos and print out people’s stories to put on a brick wall outside the Ritz Amphitheatre.

The City of Thomasville wants people to remember West Jackson Street from back when it was a hub for African Americans. So the city is asking people to submit photos and stories of the street from that time.

The City's Tourism Manager Bonnie Hayes says West Jackson Street was a shopping and business district for Black residents in the 1940s and 1950s.

"That's where you went to a doctor's office, that's where you went to your pharmacist, that's where you went to get your hair cut," Hayes says.

But Hayes says the city and surrounding museums don't have many photos from that period. She says it's imperative now to remember the area as it was because the city has recently revitalized West Jackson Street.

"They didn't want just total gentrification losing what this area used to be," Hayes says.

And she says the people who remember West Jackson Street's Black history won't be around forever.

"They're aging, and their memories may not be as strong as they used to be, so this is an opportunity to capture the history before it's gone," Hayes says.

The city is hoping to display people's photos and stories on a wall outside the Ritz Amphitheatre. Hayes says that will complete the city's history walk. The walk consists of plaques that detail what Black businesses used to be in the area.

People can submit photos for the project on the City of Thomasville’s website by clicking here. And they can share their stories of the street during an event at the Jack Hadley Black History Museum. It will take place on August 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.