Black history celebration in Collier County returns after 4 years, aims to push Collier into the future

Reporter: Marcello Cuadra Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
collier county naacp event
collier county naacp event

After four years, an event in Collier County is making a comeback. And one group is building a place to tell Black stories not just during Black History Month but for every month of the year.

The event is called “Know The Past, Shape The Future,” and Collier County’s NAACP president says it’s an opportunity to share achievements. “Is an opportunity for us to share with Collier County some of the major accomplishments and achievements of African Americans to this great land that we stand on here,” said Vincent Keeys, Collier County branch president for the NAACP.

According to Keeys, the program is back in full swing following a years-long hiatus. “It was at one time, relaxed a bit. But because of the heightened awareness and social justice issues, we decided to bring it back here in Collier County,” Keeys said. Sunday afternoon’s installment saw a full house.

One topic of discussion at the meeting was the future of Collier County. That future includes an African American history museum.

“Within two hours, it’s too short of period of time to tell that story. And that’s why we believe here in Collier County we need a designated history museum to be at the Naples Depot over in the City of Naples,” said Keeys.

Amanda Townsend is the director of Collier County Museums and says this project has already gotten underway. “It’s a partnership between southwest heritage who owns the Naples depot, the Collier County museums who run the museum there, as well as the Friends of the Collier County museums and NAACP Collier County chapter,” said Townsend.

“All coming together to try to get the community excited about this project and make it a reality,” Townsend said.

Keeys says the NAACP already has a partnership with the Friends of the Collier County Musem to raise money. Then they hope to open a new museum at the Naples Depot.

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