This February, the City of Orlando invites you to join the journey into Orlando’s past and learn about some of the many African-American leaders who were instrumental in making our city what it is today.
At 36 years old, Bluette Jenkins organized the Negro Welfare Planning Council, which served impoverished African-Americans and their families. And, due to the absence of foster homes for African-American children, Mrs. Jenkins and her husband cared for children in need. Mrs. Jenkins was also the first African-American social worker in Orlando.
|Dr. Jerry B. Callahan||
Dr. Jerry B. Callahan was born on December 9, 1883, on a family-owned plantation in Abbeville, South Carolina. He earned his medical degree from Shaw University and opened his medical practice in Orlando at 25 years old, becoming the first African-American doctor in the city to do so. He was also the first African-American doctor to practice surgery at Orange General Hospital, which is now known as Orlando Regional Healthcare. The Callahan Neighborhood Center is named after Dr. Callahan who passed away in 1947.
|Dr. I. Sylvester Hankins||
African-American community leader, Dr. I. Sylvester Hankins was born in Orlando in 1895. Upon graduating Howard University Medical School, Mr. Hankins returned to Orlando to practice medicine. He was one of 50 Orlando men who volunteered to advance money for the purchase and development of land for construction of homes for African-Americans. He was one of the first African-American physicians to practice at Orange Memorial Hospital. Hankins passed away on August 24, 1991.
|Paul C. Perkins||
Paul C. Perkins was a prominent Orlando attorney and black leader throughout the 1960s. He co-founded the Washington Shores Federal Savings and Loan Association in Orlando which was the first savings and loan business owned by African-Americans. Attorney Perkins was a lifetime member of the NAACP. He worked tirelessly for peaceful coexistence before and after desegregation. Paul C. Perkins passed away on July 4, 1985.