Tag Archives: Eartha White

BEFORE THE MUSIC DIED: LaVilla – ”The Great Black Way”

“West Ashley Street,” sang the in 1927, was the only place you could “ever lose these awful Jacksonville Blues.” That same year,  recorded a mysterious ragtime blues guitarist named playing “Ashley Street Blues,” with singing, “I’m a heartbroken woman with the Ashley Street Blues.”  recorded another version of “Jacksonville Blues” in 1928. She was “red hot” in Atlanta, she sang, “But the man I love lives down in Jacksonville.” West Ashley was the central thoroughfare for , a mostly black town after the , a slave plantation earlier in the 19th century, and during Jacksonville’s brutal Jim Crow years, one …

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Mothering Eartha: The Gift of Loving from the Clara White Mission’s 111 Years

In 1993, the City of Jacksonville had the Clara White Mission in its crosshairs. Mayor Ed Austin’s River City Renaissance plan sought to demolish the Clara White Mission along with the nearly 50 square blocks of  it bulldozed, but a young leader named Ju’Coby Pittman, the Mission’s fourth president, got in the way. Today, the , located at 613 West Ashley Street in the heart of LaVilla, is 111 years old. Its founder, , ran the Mission for 70 years. Along the way, people compared her to Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Jane Addams and Jesus. She wasn’t quite five feet tall, …

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october, 2021

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