Broward Trust for Historic Preservation - HERITAGE

Gloria Battle

Pioneer Heritage Award Winner

GLORIA BATTLE is a second-generation Floridian. She and her mother were born in Broward County, and because of segregation Branhilda Richardson Knowles, a midwife delivered both of them in Deerfield Beach. When she matriculated in the Broward County School System, racial segregation kept Caucasian and African Americans from studying together. Your race also determined where you lived. How ironic that she returned home after attending college and spent 20 years as Director of the Broward County Human Rights Division, where she was responsible for investigating housing and employment discrimination cases.

As a student of activism, having honed those skills while studying at Howard University, she has always been and continues to be active in her community. She sat on the Deerfield Beach Commission and continued her activism from the dais. For years, the African American community insisted that property on land scheduled for a housing development project was the first African American Cemetery. Because of her insistence and research, the site is now the home of the Historic Branhilda Richardson Knowles Memorial Park, designated by the National Register of Historic Places.

Nominated by Deerfield Beach /
The Deerfield Beach Historical Societ

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