Sara M. McDonald, Special Projects Coordinator
What gives you hope for the future?
It’s a question many of us ask ourselves repeatedly. Hope. It’s such a powerful and timeless word. If you look back throughout history you can find pieces of hope scattered throughout, and one could say it is the very root of how good triumphs evil.
Anne Frank said “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Two individuals, born the same year, whose lives were taken way too soon, held on to this very idea to see them through the darkness and to dream of better days.
The Florida Holocaust Museum wanted to help shed light on some of that darkness with the making of our original exhibition Beaches, Benches and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement In Tampa Bay. This exhibition’s very design was to illuminate our region’s struggle with racial equality and shine a light on the local leaders who changed our cities.
Leaders like Dr. Ralph Wimbish who helped integrate Major League Baseball, the 12 brave African American police officers who fought for their rights – you may know them as The Courageous Twelve. There was also the White Hats of Tampa and every single person in Sarasota who made the freedom schools the powerhouse of a movement that it was, and many, many more.
Often, within the making of this exhibition, it was found that these local leaders and heroes, who kept hope alive in their community, didn’t realize they were doing just that. They didn’t realize what they were doing, what they were saying, what they stood for – was being noticed, much less that it would be recognized years later.
Today and every day The Florida Holocaust Museum strives to promote these remarkable upstanders who somehow found hope within the bleakest of circumstances and who had the courage to lead others to it. We promote this ideology into every single person that walks through our doors, who views our exhibitions, and who hears the stories of survivors, leaders and upstanders.
This idea alone is why we are pleased to announce, by popular demand, the extension of Beaches, Benches and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement In Tampa Bay, by two more weeks. The new closing date for this exhibition is now March 15, 2020.
At the end of this exhibition, there is an activity that asks you the same question. What gives you hope for the future? Come on in. Leave us a note. Let us know. We want to know.