Sistrunk

Wilbert Simpson Jr. / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week is meant to showcase the city as its own art-worthy cultural destination. Artists' works will be on display across the city throughout this week, ending on Jan. 27.

A big part of the show — now in its third year — touts "the art fair on the water," designed for people to boat to empty multimillion-dollar properties filled with works of art on the Intracoastal. 

Caitie Switalski / Miami Herald

In Florida, more black people were lynched per capita from 1877 to 1950 than anywhere else in the south, according to The Equal Justice Initiative

Pembroke Pines artist Ne’Chelle Straughter, whose artist name is Kaspvr, explores the legacy of racial terror and lynchings in Broward County in her new painting 'Uncle Reuben.'


Caitie Switalski / WLRN

New Mt. Olive Baptist Church has been in the middle of the Historic Sistrunk neighborhood, in Fort Lauderdale, for 100 years.

It's been there for so long that black people were welcomed there almost before anywhere else in Broward County.

With 11,000 members, it's also a political hotspot for the city, and candidates from different races often come there to try and woo voters.

Hurricane preparedness Sistrunk
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Some people came because memories of last year’s Hurricane Irma made them laugh. Some people came because memories of Hurricane Irma made them cringe. But the more than 200 people that came to Broward County's open house for hurricane preparedness in Fort Lauderdale's Sistrunk neighborhood on Saturday were all trying to make summer storm plans. 

 

“Got some hand sanitizer, flashlights, first-aid kit…” Brian Bush said, as he dumped out his ‘Get A Plan!’ bag full of hurricane supplies. 

Sistrunk Blvd.
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Where it used to be quiet for the past 15 years or so along Fort Lauderdale’s Sistrunk Boulevard - there’s now a surge of building projects.

FortLauderdale.gov

In most big cities, altering a street sign is not much cause for fanfare.  But Fort Lauderdale’s decision to re-brand one particular street is being hailed by many in the city’s African-American community.

City commissioners decided Tuesday night that the name “Sistrunk Boulevard” will no longer stop near the railroad tracks, a segregation-era dividing line between the city’s black and white communities.  Sistrunk will now appear along with Northeast Sixth Street on signs running through Flagler Village, a section quickly gentrifying into a predominantly white neighborhood.

Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

Last month, we brought you the story of a Fort Lauderdale community divided over a street name honoring one of the city's African-American heroes.  Since then, one of the neighborhoods in question has done a complete about-face that could end years of emotional debate. 

But at least one city official has questions about what sparked the turn-around.

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center

In every major city, there's at least one street sign that tells black folks they're in the right place, but tells white folks that they probably took a wrong turn.

For decades in Fort Lauderdale, one of those signs has read Sistrunk Boulevard.

The boulevard, which runs through the city’s historically black business district, is currently at the center of a contentious debate between two communities.

And the dispute is raising questions about what it takes for a neighborhood with a troubled past to rehabilitate its image.