JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Daniel Wynn was born and raised in the historic LaVilla neighborhood just west of downtown. His father owned the Wynn Hotel on Ashley street, one of the few hotels that would allow guests of color.
We couldn't have asked for a better tour guide -- in his 70 years of life Wynn's seen it all.
There's not much left of the LaVilla neighborhood. So, we went to the Ritz Theatre and Museum where the neighborhood's history is preserved.
"This is the Masonic Temple. It was built by the African American masons in 1912. It was debt free when they completed it," explained museum administrator Adonnica Toler.
"If we don't record these stories. If they're not written down, they're forgotten," said Toler.
She says LaVilla was once known as the "Harlem of the South."
"Louie Armstrong, Cab Callaway, Ella Fitzgerald, you would have seen them walking these streets," said Toler.
Ray Charles once called LaVilla home and so did James Weldon Johnson.
James Weldon Johnson wrote the lyrics to "Lift Ev'ry voice and sing," which later became known as the negro national anthem.
At the museum, Daniel Wynn showed us pictures of the people he called friends and neighbors.
"Growing up in this neighborhood, people had dignity and pride and that's still prevalent today."
Although LaVilla has been on the decline for many years, he says the neighborhood should never be forgotten. He hopes by continuing to tell these stories, it will always have its place in history.