NAPAAHC succeeds with renaming of park for Dr. Charles Evans
Saturday, January 15, 2022
City of Tallahassee honors Civil Rights hero Dr. Charles Evans
By Monica Casey
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 9:11 PM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A local legend was honored in Tallahassee on Saturday; Civil Rights advocate Dr. Charles Evans now has a pond named after him in his old neighborhood in the Myers Park Historic District.
The pond is visible from Evans’ former home, where his wife still lives.
Speakers at Saturday’s renaming and dedication called Evans a man who moved mountains.
“I truly believe that the renaming of this park after Doctor Evans really reflects who he was, and who we are as a community,” said Mayor John Dailey. Evans served as the Associate Dean of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry for more than thirty years. His colleagues, former students, and current FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson spoke about Evans’ legacy. “His life and legacy reflect everything FAMU represents, excellence with caring,” Dr. Robinson said.
Evans was also president of the Tallahassee branch of the NAACP for fourteen years. “When voting rights and getting out the vote was an important task, he made sure that not only the NAACP but everybody in this community had their rights and were going out to vote and getting people in office that was necessary,” current NAACP President Mutaqee Akbar said.
Dr. Evans pushed for representations of minorities within local government in the highest positions.
“He also worked to get Tallahassee’s first African American police chief in 1997,” said local historian Delaitre Hollinger, President of the National Association for Preservation African-American History and Culture, Inc. (NAPAAHC). “Moreover, Dr. Evans worked with Tallahassee Fire Department officials to promote diversity among its ranks.”
“Doctor Charles Evans made it a point that every part of our City reflect this community, and that’s by having black people at the top, in leadership,” Akbar said. The pond was formerly named after a Florida Supreme Court justice who upheld segregationist policies. FAMU Professor of History, Dr. Larry Rivers, spoke about the background of the spot.
“This very pond behind me on the once Edward Houston plantation was a place where enslaved people got to wash their clothing. So the renaming of this pond for a black Civil Rights advocate has historical significance,” Dr. Rivers said.
Evans’ family also spoke about his life at home. “He was a caregiver; I don’t know if many of you knew that our father would cook us breakfast before we went to school,” said one of his daughters.
Evans passed away in 2013; he is survived by his wife, his four children, and 17 grandchildren.
The Dr. Charles L. Evans Pond is located on Circle Drive in the Myers Park Historic District.