Celebrating 100 years of “America’s Black Eden”: Idlewild, Michigan’s Centennial visit: http://www.iaacc.com/ for more information

Dedication and Grand Opening of John Meeks Park

IDLEWILD, MI (Tell Us USA) – Long considered the “Black Eden”, Idlewild will mark its 100th year with the dedication of John Meeks Park, named in honor of educator, successful businessman, historian and longtime resident. An after party will be held like this area has never seen before. The ceremony will be held from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm August 4, 2012 at M. L. King & Idlewild Boulevard in this historic and beautiful northern resort setting.

The celebration will continue with guest speakers, entertainment and activities for all ages, from 1:00 pm – until, so don’t forget your coolers, blankets and lawn chairs.

Idlewild, a vacation and retirement community in Yates Township located in a small rural northwestern part of Michigan, was one of only a few resorts in the country where African-Americans were allowed to vacation and purchase property before this discrimination became illegal in 1964.

Upper and middle class African American professionals from Detroit, Chicago, and other Midwestern cities were drawn to this rustic community a hundred years ago with residents the likes of NAACP co-founder, Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, cosmetic entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, Lemuel L. Foster, president of Fisk University, Dr. Albert B. Cleage, Sr. of Detroit, and the famous African-American novelist Charles Waddell Chesnutt.

 

Famous entertainers who performed in Idlewild were Della Reese, Al Hibbler, Bill Doggett, Jackie Wilson, T-Bone Walker, George Kirby, The Four Tops, Roy Hamilton, Brook Benton, Lottie “the Body” Graves, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley, Fats Waller, and Billy Eckstein and many other performers, entertained thousands of Idlewilders and white citizens in neighboring Lake County townships throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

Long considered the “Black Eden”, Idlewild will mark its 100th year with the dedication of John Meeks Park, named in honor of successful businessman, historian and longtime resident.

For more information on this historic centennial or Free Picnic Table Reservation call: IAACC at 231-745-4742 or email: johnmeekssr2@gmail.com For rooms call Paradise Lake Motel: 231-745-9695

SPONSORED BY IDLEWILD AFRICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PO BOX 435 IDLEWILD, MICHIGAN PHONE: 231-745-4742 www.iaacc.com 


 

 

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