The Micanopy Negro School

The Micanopy Negro School

Te-Erika Patterson

Micanopy Elementary School was established around 1940 as the only school in Micanopy for Black children. Located at 802 NW Seminary Ave, where the Micanopy Area Cooperative School is now located, the building that housed the old cafeteria still stands.

Also known as the Colored School at Micanopy and the Micanopy Negro School, two buildings were constructed and reserved to educate black children in first grade through eighth grade. Black children from neighboring towns like Kirkwood and Wacahoota were also bussed in to attend Micanopy Elementary School.

Although the 1896 “separate but equal” racial segregation doctrine upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that there must be equal facilities for both races, Micanopy Elementary School was anything but equal to the schools reserved for white children in Micanopy.

A description of the two buildings, published in The Gainesville Sun in 1955, stated that one of the buildings held the classroom and the other building was the school cafeteria/auditorium. There was no lunchroom or indoor restroom facilities; a total of 109 children had to use outhouses. The two buildings were not wired for electricity because the cost of wiring would have been more than the entire building was worth.

For nearly 15 years Black children in Micanopy used these lackluster facilities for their education. Immediately following the publication of this description of the condition of Micanopy Elementary School, approval was given for a new cafetorium and toilet facilities at a cost of $27,000.

Although the facilities at Micanopy Elementary School were subpar, the education was not. Every single Black child who attended Micanopy Elementary School during the 40’s and 50’s raved about what an amazing experience it was. Students who had aged out of the school, admitted to crying and grieving over having to move on to high school.

Those Black students who were caught in the cross fire of forced integration of schools in Micanopy during the late 1960’s all agree on one opinion – they did not want their schools to be integrated. And here’s why….

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