We are committed to sharing the stories of Sarasota’s vibrant Black community. In this series, a chorus of voices speaks out about racism, justice and our future. 

In This Feature:

Retired U.S. Special Agent Henry Hunter on His Career at the State Department

Hunter also reflects on the impact of strong women on his life—including his sister, award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

09/14/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Former New York Police Commissioner James H. Lawrence Jr. on 9/11, Vietnam and Peaceful Protests

On September 11, 2001, Lawrence was the highest-ranking officer at NYPD headquarters, just blocks from Ground Zero.

08/10/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Rev. Liz Walker on Civil Rights, Faith and Breaking Racial and Gender Barriers

Walker talks about growing up with a front seat to the civil rights movement and her work as a news anchor and pastor.

07/13/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Dr. Nancy Boxill on Creating Change and How Racism Affects Black Families Through Generations

“I’m not so sure we’re spending much time on structural changes, and that’s where the hard work is, in my view."

06/08/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Étienne Porter on Music, Black Lives Matter and His Humanitarian Efforts in Mozambique

"Real inclusivity is not scrambling to find it, but rather cultivating friendships with people of color in a meaningful way."

05/11/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Conductor and Minister Jamal Sarikoki on Music and Keeping Faith in the Face of Racism

Sarikoki, who moved to Sarasota in 2018, is a minister at Venice Presbyterian Church and associate conductor for Key Chorale.

04/13/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Presidential Appointee J. Veronica Biggins on Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Biggins, former Director of Presidential Personnel for the Clinton administration, shares her thoughts on how to fight systemic racism.

03/16/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Educator Teidra Everett on Code-Switching, Tokenism and Creating a Diverse Classroom

“Most students at the primary level are visual learners, so what better way to teach them—and some adults—than by making history come to life?”

03/02/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Artist Gale Fulton Ross Is a ‘Freedom Fighter at the Easel’

For 50 years, Fulton Ross has been visually telling the stories of the Black community and its icons.

02/02/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Finance Executive Ted Downing on Redlining, the Wealth Gap and Hope for the Future

Downing, a former NCAA track and field star, also recalls his time at the 1968 Olympic trials and the Black Power salutes.

01/05/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Boston Celtics Co-Owner and Business Leader James Cash on Breaking Barriers

A rare interview with the former basketball star and first Black tenured Harvard Business School faculty member.

12/22/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Mote Biologist Jasmin Graham on the Need for Diversity in Science

Graham is the co-founder of Minorities in Shark Sciences, which aims to open doors for underrepresented minority students.

11/24/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Finance Industry Vet Ed Swan Jr. on the Wealth Gap and the Healing Power of Art

"I want it to be recognized that how we treat and care for each other is more important than how much money we accumulate and attempt to protect."

11/10/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Activist Barbara Nell Langston on the History of Newtown and the Importance of Voting

“I live the village life, which is Newtown,” she says. “I live the stories of this community, and I love it here.”

02/02/2021 By Heather Dunhill

Dr. LaVerne M. Green on Public Health and the Parallels Between the HIV and Covid-19 Pandemics

"You are part of the prevention and have the power to be the change.”

10/13/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Economist, Black History Scholar and Professor James Stewart on Reparations and Economic Equality

"Disparities must be addressed in order to put people of color on the same footing as white citizens," Stewart says.

09/29/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Pioneering Physician Randall C. Morgan Jr. on His Lifetime of Fighting for Health Care Equity

Plus, how the Covid-19 pandemic is adversely affecting the Black community.

09/15/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Harpist Ann Hobson Pilot on Overcoming Racism in Classical Music

Pilot was the first Black female principal player in a major symphony orchestra.

09/01/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Retired Crime Analyst Wanda F. Gilbert on Police Reform and Growing Up in Segregated South Florida

“There needs to be more addressing instead of arresting.”

08/17/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Investment Banker Ronald T. Gault on Civil Unrest and the Importance of Using Your Voice

Gault's long career includes government service and civil rights work; he also served as head of JP Morgan's office in Johannesburg, South Africa, after the fall of apartheid.

08/04/2020 By Heather Dunhill

U.S. Ambassador James A. Joseph on His Lifelong Fight for Equality

Joseph, the former ambassador to South Africa, was an adviser to four American presidents and worked closely with the late Nelson Mandela.

09/03/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Kate Harris on Her Front-Row Seat During Brown v. Board of Education

Harris’ parents shaped history and welcomed major Black figures of the civil rights movement into their home.

07/07/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Civil Rights Leader Dr. Willie Clemons on Activism and Forgiveness

We are committed to sharing the stories of Sarasota’s vibrant Black community.

06/23/2020 By Heather Dunhill

Sarasota's Black Community Reacts to the Death of George Floyd

A chorus of voices speaks out about racism, justice and our future.

06/02/2020 By Susan Burns, Megan McDonald, Heather Dunhill, Kay Kipling, Jessika Ward, and Cooper Levey-Baker