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City recognizes Eunice Watson Liberty's home as historic

admin | 2/23/2012, 4 a.m.

Few structures in Miami can claim the prestigious status of having been recognized as a historic landmark. Recently the Eunice Watson-Liberty Home was deemed as historical by the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board (HEPB). I am very excited about this, said Carolyn Scott, the wife and mother of the current owners of the home at 1711 NW 62nd Terrace. I think this is a good thing to have in a community such as Liberty City. Liberty, who died in 2001 at the age of 97, was a pioneer in education. She arrived in Miami during the 1930s to take a teaching position. Until the 1960s, there was no such thing as the formal teaching of Black history in the classroom, but the trail blazing teacher has been credited as having taught the history of Blacks well before then. The veteran teacher had a life-long commitment to teaching Black history. Scott said that she and her family acquired the, now historic, landmark by chance in 2009. We were looking for a property to make additional income and I just saw it one day and we just decided that we would go ahead and buy it not knowing that it was such a historic place, Scott said. None of is grew up here in Miami so we didnt know about her career as an educator and the struggle that she had with fighting to get Black history in Miami-Dade County classrooms. Liberty was born in 1904 and began her early years of education at the Mary McLeod Bethune Normal Industrial Institute in Daytona Beach. She then went on to graduate from Edward Waters High School in Jacksonville, receive a teaching certificate from Florida A&M University in 1927 and a masters degree from New York Citys Columbia University in 1950. She was quite a guiding force in helping to educate our children about themselves and about their history, Scott said. Currently the home is used as a rental property for the Scotts. By Randy Gricergrice@miamitimesonline.com