FREE Community Documentary Screening

Date(s) - Wednesday, March 30, 2022
5:30 pm

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center


History Fort Lauderdale, celebrating 60 years as a proud steward of our community’s past by making our heritage accessible and engaging to residents and visitors, will present a community screening of the new documentary film, “She Had a Dream: Eula Johnson’s Fight to Desegregate Broward County.” The film was locally directed and edited by Janay Joseph, NSU intern and Tara Chadwick, History Fort Lauderdale’s curator of exhibitions.

“She Had a Dream” is based on the personal account by Eula Johnson – in her own words – of what it was like organizing the 1961 Fort Lauderdale Beach Wade-Ins 60 years ago. Created as a digital resource to accompany History Fort Lauderdale’s educational presentation “Civil Rights in Fort Lauderdale,” this film juxtaposes historical events with a powerful message that democracy requires active practice of civil duty. It features archival photos and audiovisuals of Eula Johnson from the History Fort Lauderdale collections.

Eula Mae Gandy Johnson (1906–2001) was an American activist in the civil rights movement. She is known for her work to end Jim Crow segregation in public beaches, schools, restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was considered by many to be the “Rosa Parks of Fort Lauderdale.” In 1959, she became the first woman president of the Fort Lauderdale NAACP. In her capacity as president, she filed several lawsuits against public schools to seek equality for black students, as well as fought against separation in public spaces like drive-in theaters. Part of her activism work resulted in the end of segregation at Broward County beaches. Johnson, along with Dr. Von D. Mizell and several NAACP members, organized “wade-ins” at the white only beaches in 1961. The city of Fort Lauderdale sued Johnson for being a public nuisance. After a judge refused the city’s request to put a halt to the wade-ins, Broward County beaches became desegregated in 1962. In 2011, her house, at 1100 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, became Fort Lauderdale/Broward Branch NAACP headquarters as well as a museum and welcome center for the historic Sistrunk Corridor. Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Hollywood, Florida is named after her and fellow civil rights activist Dr. Von Mizell.

Click here for tickets and more information.