Jacksonville Beach renames street for first black councilwoman.

She united white and Black residents by promoting volunteerism during her time in office.

April 2nd 2024.

Jacksonville Beach renames street for first black councilwoman.
The city of Jacksonville Beach is making a meaningful change by renaming one of its streets in honor of a trailblazing woman. Margaret Ann McQueen, the first Black city councilwoman, will now forever be remembered for her significant contributions to the Florida city.

The newly named McQueen street sign is proudly displayed at the intersection of Second Ave South and Seventh Street South, in a city located just 20 miles outside of Jacksonville. McQueen's efforts to improve her community not only left a lasting impact but also marked a significant step towards diversity, according to a report by News4Jax.

Born in 1940, McQueen was a lifelong resident of the Beaches community. After returning to her hometown in 1969 with her children, she earned a degree in education from the University of North Florida in 1971. Her career as a teacher at a local elementary school led her to become involved in community organizing, where she noticed the detrimental effects of drugs and violence in her neighborhood.

Before delving into local politics, McQueen founded the Jacksonville Beach Community Action Co-op in 1989. The organization aimed to improve relations between the city's police force and its residents. They also worked towards addressing the rise in crime within the Beaches community.

In 1991, at the age of 51, McQueen made history by becoming the first Black member of Jacksonville Beach's City Council. Her victory was the result of newly-established district voting, which allowed voters to choose candidates based on their location. She held the seat from 1991 to 1994, and then again from 1998 until her passing in 2013 at the age of 73.

During her time as a City Councilwoman, McQueen not only brought together the white and Black residents through volunteerism but also advocated for equal representation in local leadership. Her legacy of unifying the Beaches community continues to live on, even after her passing. As a pioneer in local politics, McQueen paved the way for other community organizers to step up and represent their neighborhoods. She remains a pivotal figure in the city's history and an inspiration for future generations.

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