HAVANA, Fla. (WTXL) — Havana Northside High School in Gadsden County has been added to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places, the Florida Department of State announced on Tuesday.
Havana Northside High School is one of two historic black public schools to be added to the state registry along with Brevard County's Cocoa Junior High School.
“I am pleased to announce the addition of these two properties to the National Register of Historic Places,” said Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee. “These two historic schools carry the spirits of their communities, providing a window into the injustices of past segregation while also demonstrating the triumphs of the people who worked to overcome inequality.”
The school was originally built in 1962 and served as a high school for the African-American students in Havana and Midway until 1970. When it was built, it marked a significant milestone for the African-American students of Havana, who previously were forced to travel to either Quincy or Tallahassee for their high school education.
According to state historians, the school was built eight years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. the Board of Education decision, which declared segregated schools unconstitutional. It was not until the early 1970s that Gadsden County, like much of the south, saw any meaningful desegregation.
Northside became an integrated high school in 1971-1972 after serving as a middle school for a brief period and remained a fixture in the community until its closing in 2004.