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Black history month hits home in Boca

Charles C. Graves III has stepped in to save Boca’s only historic black district before it’s too late.

The former Cincinnati director of planning wants to have Pearl City designated as a certified local government. He’s speaking at Monday’s city council workshop at the invitation of  councilwoman Andrea Levine O’Rourke.

The state of Florida describes the program as way for local government to identify, evaluate and protect historic properties. That gives owners a tax break to improve their property, he said. It also prevents a hi-rise in the neighborhood, he added at an Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church gathering.

“Pearl City’s in trouble,” he said. “We want to show this community is alive and well and needs some attention.”

He’s already documenting Pearl City’s past, present and future working with the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum.

And DISC and another group of supporters are on board in the effort, he added.

Graves said he felt a calling to step in on Pearl City’s behalf. He spoke informally at the first 2020 Feed My Sheep session in the church fellowship basement.

Peggy Bradley called for testimony and one after another, members talked about what God means to them. A promise keeper? A friend, teacher, comforter? There was a list in the program booklet. “It’s not about being in the church. The church is just us,” offered Janet Spain.

Then singer Ann Anderson broke into “What a Mighty God We Serve” and the others joined in.

By Marci Shatzman

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