Broward County pioneers

Preservation of the past extends beyond protecting structures; it encompasses the celebration of stories, traditions and collective memories that form our identity.

Each month, Broward Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes
the recipient of the 2023 Broward County Pioneer Award.

For June we honor the Trailblazers of Broward County Inc.
winner of the Judge Clayton Nance Memorial Award.

In 1908, Beau Cummings, a local community organizer and Mary Black Razor, a retired Broward County teacher, recruited and organized sixty
sons, daughters, and relatives of former black pioneers. Initially, they met to relive the past life of blacks in Fort
Lauderdale and to make plans for a social event, however after several meetings, it was agreed to expand those efforts to include blacks within the entire county. They named themselves “Trailblazers of Broward County, Inc.” The general purpose is to recapture information substantiating the achievement made by black county residents during the period 1900 to the present and to promote public understanding and appreciation of achievements made.

The Social Science department at Broward County College (BCC) was contacted during the initial organizational period and under the leadership of Dr. Winston Thompson, Associate Dean of the college, is supporting the efforts of the Trailblazers. Along with BCC, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s City Commission awarded the group $10,000 in startup funds. Over the years, the organization has conducted oral history interviews, produced plays, managed the erection of monuments (such as the Sankofa Bird on Sistrunk Boulevard), hosted community events (such as the Dixie Court Family Reunion), and assisted other organizations with documenting the history of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.

Currently, the Trailblazers meet each month at the Old Dillard Museum
.
Proposed by the City of Fort Lauderdale