Stumbling Toward Enlightenment

Gatherings from the Internet

Remember the Ladies: Evangeline Jennings Hall


Hall_Evangeline_wmCivil Rights activist Evangeline Jennings Hall was born September 6, 1915, in DeLand, Florida. Her mother, Minnie Brooks Jennings, was a schoolteacher before giving birth to her seven children. William Jennings, Evangeline Hall’s father, worked three jobs every day to feed his family.

Hall (then Jennings) attended segregated schools, but does not remember experiencing racial tension. She had a gift for playing the piano, and served as her church’s organist. Hall attended Bethune-Cookman College and, in her thirties, Hall and her husband moved to Bradenton, Florida and separated. Discovering Bradenton was terribly prejudiced, Hall and four other activists formed the Biracial Committee with the support of Mayor A. Sterling Hall. Mayor Hall worked to end some of Bradenton’s Jim Crow laws, including separate water fountains, and swore that no lynchings would occur during his administration. Even with the mayor’s assistance, however, the Committee was largely unable to integrate business establishments.

Evangeline Hall spent 47 years working in the insurance industry for Central Life Insurance. She became an agent and an assistant manager before becoming the company’s first female African American manager. She was also the first black woman to serve as the president of the local Democratic Party. As a member of the League of Women Voters, Hall registered people to vote for many years. Mayor A. Sterling Hall awarded Evangeline Hall the key to the city in recognition of her accomplishments.

Hall passed away on July 30, 2013. (The History Makers)

Author: barenose

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