Monday, February 29, 2016

Paradise Park

Today I made my second visit to Silver Springs, the old tourist attraction now run as part of a Florida state park. It is a fantastic place, about which more soon, but first: something I learned in the visitor center today. There was a nice wall of photos taken at Paradise Park, which the old resort opened in 1949 for "colored people," about a mile downstream from the spring. Blacks and whites swimming together in the crystalline spring-fed waters of the Silver River was not an option in Jim Crow Florida. In fact, Paradise Park would operate until 1969!

The photos make Paradise Park look like a pretty great place, and having seen those waters up close I imagine it was; this nostalgic feature article confirms it. Still, the symbolism of its placement downstream from the white folks was unlikely to be lost on the visitors. Perhaps it is nostalgia for that order of things that lies behind Donald Trump's refusal to repudiate the KKK?

No comments:

Post a Comment