Oops, he did it again. Yesterday, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced his destruction of black culture in Orlando would continue beyond the traditional borders of Parramore, admitting the city plans for the Citrus Bowl renovations will include the demolition of historic Tinker Field where Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke 50 years ago.
On May 14, 2004, Tinker Field was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. According to the City of Orlando, Tinker Field was constructed back in 1923 and is the “most historic of all the Orlando Venues entertainment and sports venues.” It is located directly adjacent to the western side of the Citrus Bowl on West Church Street, and can seat more than 5,000 people.
More importantly, Tinker Field is the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic Orlando speech, who spoke there in 1964. King spoke at the field to a crowd of thousands, about the need for integration and racial equality. Think about what he would have to say today.
But apparently, Buddy Dyer doesn’t care about history.
Timing also doesn’t seem to matter to the mayor. Yesterday, the Orlando City Council passed an eminent domain resolution to take a black local church in Parramore so they can build the soccer stadium. And this public announcement about Tinker Field’s fate comes as the City of Orlando hosts their Black History Kick Off Reception in the Orlando City Hall Rotunda tonight. What a way to remember MLK’s history in Orlando.
Now the Mayor did say the City plans to “relocate” the demolished Tinker Field to already-existing McCracken field across the street, spending another $3 million according to My Fox Orlando.
But you can’t relocate history. That will be gone forever.