Eula Gany Johnson

By Janet Scherberger

Activist (Fort Lauderdale)

Years: 1906–2001

Remembered for: She worked tirelessly – and successfully – to end Jim Crow segregation, with some people considering her the “Rosa Parks of Fort Lauderdale.”

Why you should know her:

Johnson was born, lived, worked and was an activist in the civil rights movement in Fort Lauderdale.

In 1959, she became the first woman president of the Fort Lauderdale NAACP and fought for equality in public schools as well as the end of segregation in public spaces, such as drive-in theaters. With Dr. Von D. Mizell and other NAACP members, she organized several “wade-ins” at whites-only beaches, beginning on July 4, 1960. The wade-ins made national headlines and the county sued Johnson as a public nuisance. But she prevailed in court and in 1962, Broward County beaches were desegregated.

In 2011, her house in Fort Lauderdale became the headquarters for the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County branch of the NAACP as well as a museum and welcome center for the historic Sistrunk Corridor. In 2016, the state honored her by changing the name of John U. Lloyd Beach State Park to Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park. It was the first state park named after an African-American. John Lloyd was the Broward County attorney who fought desegregation.

Featured imageEula Gany Johnson