This article is part of the series Listening to Diverse Voices, proudly presented by Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
Since June 2020, Sarasota Magazine has been publishing “Listening to Black Voices,” an online series of interviews with people in our community who are local, national and international leaders in education, business, journalism, government, science, the arts, medicine and more. Originated by regular contributor Heather Dunhill, with photography by Michael Kinsey, this project tells the personal histories of our Black neighbors, friends and colleagues in Sarasota and Manatee. Many of the people interviewed have been front-row witnesses and participants in civil rights. They were often part of ground-breaking events. Many were also the first in their families to step out of poverty. Their stories reveal the obstacles and triumphs of navigating lives in a nation that continues to struggle with racism and inequality. We’ve created an online book of these powerful interviews. We hope you’ll be as moved as we have been by these stories. A special thank you to Gulf Coast Community Foundation for being a presenting sponsor of the series.