LEGACY-56, Inc. began with a group of friends born in 1956 -- into an era of world changers, during a time when civil rights were center stage. Entering segregated schools in 1962 in Pinellas County, Florida, students were deliberately grouped according to their measured -- and perceived -- potential for achievement.
However, their potential for achievement transcended family composition, personality, gender, and social-economic status. The Legacy-56 group came from married and single heads of household, middle and working-class families, introverted and extroverted personality styles. The group members resided within a three-mile radius -- while there were sufficient commonalities to solidify friendships for life and sufficient support to ensure academic success. Strong friendship bonds -- that began to form around the age of six and solidify by age 12 -- continued into young adulthood.
Individual group members demonstrated leadership as students, in spite of integration and racial disparities -- becoming homecoming queens, class and club presidents, valedictorians, and captains of sports teams. And they were destined to become adult leaders of churches, businesses, private practices, classrooms, and communities.
After 40 years, the group has reunited to recapture and pass on the legacy of rich cultural heritage, spirit, identity, and family values that were bestowed by our ancestors. It is our aim to remember, reclaim, restore, and realize (make real) all that was invested in us so we can use it to build our community into the future. Realizing that we must first practice this within our Board leadership, in 2017 we expanded the board to include the next generation of leaders.
In the spirit of Sankofa, as captured in our logo, we seek to “go back and fetch what was left behind as we move forward.” In 2018, we began to impact the community through our Read to Remember: Remember to Read Literacy Project, and our Sankofa Series, the first of which featured our classmate and friend, award-winning actor, director, producer, Kenny Leon, and in 2019, featured board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Cyd Campbell, who specializes in behavioral and developmental pediatrics. May our circle be unbroken!