Palm Beach County, Florida
The County of Palm Beach Ghetto Story
One of the main three counties of South Florida, the county of Palm Beach ghetto story is similar to most of the other communities in this region of Florida, which includes Miami-Dade County and Broward County, home of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
While South Florida has a number of luxurious communities, the areas of the Palm Beach ghetto and urban communities that have a mixture of African-Americans, Bahamians, Haitians, and Jamicans, are in the places of West Palm Beach, Riveria Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, the Muck City area, and Delray Beach.
Even though those are the main communities of Palm Beach County, there is and was other small sections of the county, like Pearl City in Boca Raton around Glades and N. Dixie Hwy or Limestone Creek in Jupiter around Church Street and Central Blvd.^^
Most of the black community originally came from either the Caribbeans and West Indies or southern towns in the states of north Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
Many of these communities grew over time, starting out as neighborhoods of black farmers that worked in the fields and grew crops, people that worked as a type of servant in homes, hotels and restaurants, or helping with the construction and building of South Florida’s infrastructures of roads, buildings and other projects.
Farming in this part of Florida was and may still be the biggest industry as it dates back to the beginning of South Florida. From the school year of African-Americans being cut short so they can farm in the fields in the 1800s to the violating of constitutional rights in the 1900s, getting labor out of the locals while cutting cost on expenses for farming fruits and vegetables.^^
Muck City is a region of Palm Beach County that is isolated from the rest of the county, while being only a few miles away from the Florida Everglades, and one of the least talked about and known neighborhoods of South Florida, outside of the streets and football community.
The Muck City area is made up of three separate cities, Belle Glade, South Bay, and Pahokee, as well as Clewiston, which is in Hendry County and has a small black community on its southeastern end, known to some as Harlem.
Delray Beach, or Da Ray, has 28% of its population living in the black community that is from Lake Ida Road to the section of Delray that is between Interstate 95 and US Highway 1.
The black community of Delray has been around for a number of decades, before the city expanded its boundaries during the 1970s. While the black population is only 28%, the community makes up about half of the land in Delray Beach, with the black population not being integrated until the 1970s, which before then segregation and discrimination plagued the area.**
Boynton Beach, another small town in South Florida’s Palm Beach County, has its black community sitting between Interstate 95 and the Dixie Highway (US 1), with a legendary community known as Cherry Hill.
The West Palm Beach ghetto originally started in the city of Palm Beach in an area called the Styx until they were evicted and the area was destroyed by construction, leading people to relocate to West Palm Beach, in an area called Pleasant City.^^
From the mid-1900s to the later part of the 1900s, the South Florida population grew making the black community to further expand into places like Riveria Beach and most of the neighborhoods in West Palm Beach.
While some of these communities have some of Florida’s highest poverty and AIDS rates, this section of South Florida does have an upside, producing many athletes and entertainers, as well as entrepreneurs.
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.
^^McCarthy, Kevin. African American Sites in Florida. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple, 2007. Print.
**Patterson, Dorothy W., and Janet DeVries. Delray Beach. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2008. Print.
African-American Communities. Palm Beach County History Online. http://www.pbchistoryonline.org/page/african-american-settlement-patterns