Discovering, Collecting, and Preserving Original Source Materials pertaining to the history of African Americans in Palm Beach County.  

Establishing a facility for safeguarding and displaying such materials.  

Insuring the realization of educational goals for the enlightenment of African American communities in Palm Beach County, Florida and the African Diaspora.


To facilitate the development of  

a  research library and cultural center, 

which will provide exceptional learning, programs, exhibitions,  and events 

to educate our youth and prepare 

them for the future. 

Officers of AARLC of Palm Beach County, Inc.

Annie Ruth Wilburn - Nelson, President

Annie Wilburn Nelson is a lifetime resident of 

West Palm Beach, FL. She graduated from 

Roosevelt High School.

College graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, 

Cum Laude with a B.S. Marketing and Distribution. 

 She obtained a  Master's Degree in 

Administration and Supervision from 

Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.

Retired from the School District of Palm Beach County after 30 years where she held the positions of DCT Coordinator, Business Teacher,  Marketing and Merchandising Instructor, and Job Placement Coordinator.

Prior owner of:

Blue Front BBQ Sauce,

Annie's Subs & Ice Cream, and Black Goddess Cosmetics.

Faithful member of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, serving as Trustee for 15 years,  and 

President of the Senior Usher Board and a member of social justice team ministry of the PEACE (People Engaged in Active Community Efforts)  organization.

She is a strong  

Community Advocate for Social Justice. 


Donald Gibson, Vice President

Donald Gibson, II. was born in West Palm Beach, FL and graduated from Roosevelt High School, located in West Palm Beach, Fl and graduated from Florida A&M University, located in Tallahassee, FL.  After graduating from FAMU, Mr. Gibson relocated to San Francisco, California.

While residing in San Francisco, Mr. Gibson was employed as a mental health counselor, clinical coordinator, and a program analyst for Ward 92 San Francisco General Hospital, later becoming the Clinical Director.

Mr. Gibson returned back to West Palm Beach and immediately began getting involved in crime prevention, educational needs, and Coleman Park Improvement Project.

Mr. Gibson became involved with AARLCC of Palm Beach County, Inc. when retired educators Mr. S. Bruce McDonald and Mr. Floyd Andrews, along with Honorable Judge Edward Rodgers suggested he would be an asset in helping with the African American Research Library and Cultural Center of Palm Beach County, Inc. with exposure of  the African Diaspora and aiding in preserving African American pioneer's artifacts.

Gwendolyn Ferguson, Secretary

Gwen Ferguson is a native of West Palm Beach, FL. She 

attended the local public schools and graduated from 

Roosevelt High School.

She obtained a Bachelors of Science degree from 

Florida A. & M. University in Tallahassee, FL and a Master's of Education degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

In 1995' she retired from Palm Beach Community College after serving as an academic counselor for 22 years.

Since January 1, 1996, she has served as the Executive Assistant at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in 

West Palm Beach, FL

Alice G. Barnes, Treasurer

Alice Givens-Barnes is a lifetime resident of West Palm Beach, Florida.  She is a graduate of 

Roosevelt High School.

Graduate from Jersey City Medical Center School of Radiology.  College degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Occupational Management.

Retired from Good Samaritan Hospital after 20 years where she was a Radiation Technologist.  After another 15 years, she retired from the School District of Palm Beach County as a Director of School Aged Childcare.

Dedicated member of Christ Evangelical Baptist Church, serving as a Youth Leader for over 25 years, a member of the Mass Choir and Leader of the Communion Team.

She is a devoted wife, mother and Prayer Warrior.


Group Proposes Transformation of 

Roosevelt High School in West Palm Beach, Florida

African American Staples in West Palm Beach, FL

Tabernacle Missionary       Baptist Church

Organized in 1893.  Originally was  located on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, FL.  This was the first school for African Americans in Palm Beach County. 

          Pine Ridge 


Established in 1916 to serve (negros)  African Americans.     Pine Ridge Hospital offered the only hospitalization to  

African Americans  during segregation and the Jim Crow era.

    Sunset Cocktail


Established  in 1933 for  Jazz Entertainment.  Was considered the    "Cotton Club of the South".         Ella Fitzgerald and prominent   jazz entertainers  performed at the Sunset Cocktail Lounge in West Palm Beach, FL.