Monday, September 29, 2008

In the "Going Down the Road" series, a distinctive tale from central Florida

I'm often skeptical when "towns" that are part of conurbations are described as "rural" by journalists. But Damien Cave's latest installment in the NYTimes Going Down the Road series is an exception. That is, Cave convinced me that Eatonville, Florida, population 2,432 but part of the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area, is rural -- or at least that it retains many characteristics associated with rurality. Cave writes of how Eatonville, home town of Zora Neale Hurston, remains a "place apart," in spite of its proximity to the "theme-park sprawl of greater Orlando." He describes Eatonville thus: "as independent, dignified and private as it was in the 1930s, when Hurston wrote that rural blacks in Florida often resisted sharing their true thoughts with the white man, who 'knowing so little about us, he doesn't know what he is missing.'"

Read more about Eatonville, then and now, here in Cave's story, "In a Town Apart, the Pride and Trials of Black Life."

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