a Delray Beach Family Affair
Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
Published: Delray Beach, Fla. – April 2, 2023
Family Reunion freedom day gospel concert featuring J Sharp Band
may 20, 2023
- Time: 4pm – 8pm
- FREE Event
- Water play for children
- Family Heritage Project
- Florida History Displays
170 NW Fifth Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33437
Family ties are the strongest ties that bind us together. For a fraction of time in our history, American family ties were under attack. Now that we are free to stay together, The Spady Museum endeavors to provide a safe and welcoming space to reflect and rejoice on the anniversary of freedom. Bring your lawn chairs and your towels.
Let’s give thanks and praise together.
Paraphrased From Spady Museum’s Oral History Recordings
Old Delray was a community where families shared responsibilities. One of the ways families took care of themselves and their neighbors was by sharing food. No matter how poor people were in Delray, they never went hungry. While one family was fishing in the ocean for blue fish, another was harvesting their garden and yet another family was busy picking fruit from their trees. In the evening, the children were sent out to deliver the food to the neighbors.
Many members of the community were entrepreneurs, selling a product or service that was bought by their neighbors. Mom and Pop stores thrived on support from the community before corporations developed larger and less expensive stores.
Children also became a shared responsibility. Neighbors knew each other by name, and they knew all of the children in the area. Parents took care of each other’s children by watching them, feeding them and being present if a problem arose. Children listened to their elders because most of what they learned came from them. Parents taught their children daily living skills so they would know how to survive in uncertain times.
Many young men who enlisted in the military now believe that the service enriched their private lives by teaching discipline. This was one quality needed to live a happy, productive life. The same men remember a time when they could leave their door unlocked, and there were no bars on the windows.
Delray Beach seemed to have less racial disparity between blacks and whites than was common in other southern towns. The races were still segregated, but there was an understanding, and communication and friendships grew. Many people came to Delray to escape the oppression and mistreatment that they found in other southern states.
Church was the main social and civic institution of the black neighborhoods. More than just social, churches represented freedom. The black community did not always have the freedom to join together and worship.
An heirloom for many households was the family Bible. In the Bible, notes of family history were kept. However, family histories were not always openly discussed if a controversial marriage occurred. Marriages between races and among cousins took place but were sometimes hidden because of fear and guilt. Another keepsake passed down through the generations was a handmade quilt.
Pictured below: Carnival at Carver Estates September 1987