Meet the Oral History Interviewees
Newtown is a special African American community that grew out of another community. Overtown was the first enclave or neighborhood established by African American people in Sarasota, Florida. Three institutions were most important: schools, churches and family.
Clearly, an indomitable spirit emerged out of their struggle. A strong faith brought them through many challenges. Initially church services were held in homes, until sanctuaries were constructed.
Children were educated in churches that doubled as places where residents exercised control over their own destiny.
The residents depended on each other for medical and social services by establishing self-help, social and benevolent organizations.