By Kim H. with Work Hard Travel Well

As a part of the Travel Bloggers Exchange Conference I attended this year, there were tours that allowed us to become familiar with the area. Angella from The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau (#HelloSunny) picked us up. We were starving so our first stop that wasn’t scheduled was to Tom Jenkins restaurant.  A soul food staple of Fort Lauderdale.   Great soul food with bbq sauce that makes you want to break out in song.  Thanks Bam Bam for getting us in and out as quick as possible. The food was so good that I got a plate on my way to the airport.

We then went to Old Dillard School Museum, curator Derek Davis led us on a tour of the first school developed for people of color in the area. We learned about the history of education in the area and there was a lovely exhibit of the Black Trail Blazers of Broward County. We also had a chance to see former classrooms, a Jazz room and African playroom. The museum hosts various exhibits, lectures and events. Derek did an excellent job and we later learned he is instrumental in the success of black history in Broward County.

Our next stop was the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center which houses a large collection of black history books and books written by Black authors, an art gallery with art from local artists and an auditorium for special events and plays. I was amazed at the special collections sections which included original pieces from Alex Haley and Esther Rolle. The community can come in and receive help and use the area for research.

The last stop was the Urban League of Broward County it’s mission is, “To assist African-Americans and other disenfranchised groups in the achievement of social and economic equality.” Community Manager Mark Reyes led us on a tour of the beautiful facility. They have a computer lab to assist with resume and career development. They have various meeting rooms for training for the community and events. There is also art available for purchase. They offer programs in Health, Education, Housing.

I learned a lot about the history of education in Fort Lauderdale and I was so glad to have stumbled upon the tour. I am very appreciative to all involved in the tour.  I’ve only been to Fort Lauderdale to board a cruise. It was great to see that this city is more than a port location. It was a nice change from my traditional south beach trips. What should I see on my next trip to Fort Lauderdale? Comment below with recommendations!

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