AfriGeneas States Research Forum
[FL] Delray Museum Founder Honored
Historical society honors Delray museum founder
By Dianna Smith
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 09, 2006
DELRAY BEACH — On the second floor of this museum, on a wall masked by old photographs of beautiful women and handsome men, is a picture of Vera Farrington.
She was 16 then, dressed in an elegant white gown that fell to her ankles. She stood with confidence — her back straight, a big smile, her arms poised just so.
It was taken before a piano recital at Mount Olive Baptist Church in the northwest section of Delray Beach. Farrington, now 77, sighed and shook her head, finding it almost impossible to remember what it was like to be the girl in the white gown.
That 16-year-old grew up to be a mother, a wife, a vice principal and, most recently, the recipient of the Fannie James Pioneer Award, a prestigious honor given by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
Fannie James was the first black postmistress at the Jewell Post Office in Lake Worth, a town that once excluded blacks from living there. Farrington said James endured racial hurdles in the late 1880s and she fought them with dignity and grace. Other recipients include Robert Hazard, president of the Storm of 1928 Memorial Park Coalition, and Laurita Collie Sharpp, granddaughter of one of West Palm Beach's earliest black settlers, John Collie.