The Impact of Plantations in Broward County, FL on the Civil Rights Movement

Most of South Florida was originally inhabited by the Seminole tribe, which was largely displaced by swamp drainage efforts in the early 20th century. Plantation is located in the center of Broward County and is bordered by Lauderhill to the northeast, Sunrise to the north and west, Davie to the south, and Fort Lauderdale to the east. When the western city of Broward was created in 1953, it was promoted as an idyllic haven from the hustle and bustle of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The advertising for housing in Plantation was often seen as a way to escape from people of color found in places like Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

In 1993, Kemper National Services opened operations in Plantation and announced plans to double its office space and hire up to 800 additional employees. This was done to stimulate interest in Plantation and encourage the Broward County Commission to extend Broward Boulevard farther west. The name of the city comes from the former co-owner of the land, the Everglades Plantation Company, and from her unsuccessful attempts to establish a rice plantation in the area. In 2002, work began on a new city-owned golf course when the city purchased the property of the original Plantation golf course and began development of “Plantation Preserve”.

During the celebration of the bicentennial of the United States in 1976, a 15-meter oak tree was planted in Fifth Street Park in Plantation to represent the Tree of Liberty. Plantation's first golf club was built in 1950 under the watchful eye of Fred Peters on 300 acres of its original 10,000-acre tract. The question remains: did any plantations in Broward County have connections to the civil rights movement? The answer is yes. According to Evan Bennett, associate professor of history at Florida Atlantic University, contract negotiation between Everglades Plantation Company and internal improvement managers became a legal battle for civil rights and equality for all citizens living in Broward County.

Fred Peters donated 300 acres to create a golf course with hopes that it would encourage Broward County Commission to extend Broward Boulevard farther west and help with development of Plantation. The civil rights movement was an important part of history that changed our country for good. It is important that we recognize how far we have come since then and how much progress has been made towards equality for all citizens living in Broward County. We must also remember that there were plantations that had connections to this movement and that they played an important role in making sure that everyone had equal rights.

Leave Reply

All fileds with * are required