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Vivid Hues: Sugar Hill | firstcoastnews.com [Video]

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Black Entrepreneurs

An upscale Black community in Jacksonville in the early-1900s was wiped out by urban renewal, but those who experienced Sugar Hill say it was a sweet spot.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In the early-1900s, just west of Jacksonville’s Springfield area, there was a community called ‘Sugar Hill’ where the most prominent African Americans in Jacksonville lived.

From the ashes of Jacksonville’s Great Fire of 1901, emerged Sugar Hill, an area that flourished with prominent Black residents, millionaires, physicians and builders including Abraham Lincoln Lewis, Joseph H. Blodgett and William Raines.

“You could look within yourself and realize that yes, I too am America, yes, I too can live a beautiful life,” Marsha Dean Phelts said.

A Jacksonville native, Phelts grew up just blocks away from the sweet streets of Sugar Hill where pricey cars rolled into the driveways of huge well-kept homes. It was the epicenter of Black economic prosperity in the city, along Hogans …

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