Belle Glade, Florida facts for kids
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Belle Glade, Florida
|City of Belle Glade|
Her Soil is Her Fortune
Location of Belle Glade, Florida
|Country||United States of America|
|Settled (Hillsboro Settlement)||c. 1912–April 8, 1928|
|Incorporated (Town of Belle Glade)||April 9, 1928|
|Incorporated (City of Belle Glade)||September 11, 1945|
|• Total||7.03 sq mi (18.21 km2)|
|• Land||6.97 sq mi (18.06 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.15 km2)|
|Elevation||16 ft (5 m)|
|• Density||2,395.01/sq mi (924.66/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0278445|
Belle Glade (and the surrounding area) is sometimes referred to as "Muck City" due to the large quantity of muck, in which sugarcane grows, found in the area. Despite being located in the South Florida region of the state, Belle Glade is culturally more associated with the Florida Heartland.
For a time during the early to mid 1980s, the city had the highest rate of AIDS infection per capita (37 cases in a population of roughly 19,000) in the United States. According to the FBI, in 2003, the city had the second highest violent crime rate in the country at 298 per 10,000 residents. In 2010, the Palm Beach County sheriff's office estimated that half of the young men in Belle Glade between the ages of 18 and 25 had felony convictions.
Belle Glade is located at.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12 km2), of which 4.7 square miles (12 km2) are land and 0.21% is water.
The existence of Belle Glade is related to the federal project of draining the land around Lake Okeechobee, the acreage to be used for agriculture. The town was built in 1925 and destroyed three years later by a hurricane which killed thousands of people. The town was subsequently rebuilt. The area around Lake Okeechobee is fertile and farming has been an important industry.
Many migrant farmworkers from Belle Glade appeared in the 1960 television documentary, Harvest of Shame.
Men and women still gather around 5 a.m. in the same lot you see at the beginning of Harvest of Shame, waiting for buses to take them to the fields. The "loading ramp," as it's called, is a bleak, empty lot, surrounded by some small buildings with bars on the windows and a boarded up storefront.
As of May 2014 the city has plans "to demolish the loading ramp and turn it into a park."
Points of interest
The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail runs through Belle Glade.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American (NH)||9,432||56.49%|
|Native American or Alaska Native (NH)||3||0.02%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||3||0.02%|
|Some Other Race (NH)||31||0.19%|
|Hispanic or Latino||5,802||34.75%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 16,698 people, 6,642 households, and 3,760 families residing in the city.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,368 households, out of which 11.3% were vacant. In 2000, 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 22.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.62.
In popular culture
In CBS Reports' 1960 program Harvest of Shame, Belle Glade plays a prominent role as a source of migrant agricultural labor.
The final scenes of the crime novel Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman take place in a sugarcane plantation near Belle Glade.
The high school football culture of Belle Glade is the subject of the non-fiction book, Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football's Forgotten Town by author Bryan Mealer.
The psychedelic pop band of Montreal released a track titled, "Belle Glade Missionaries" on their 2013 album, Lousy with Sylvianbriar.
In Zora Neale Hurston's novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" characters Janie and Tea Cake join other African American migrant workers in picking beans in Belle Glade.
- Florida, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, 2004, pg. 124
- Ovaska, Mark, "The Way Out", New York Times, February 2, 2013. "In Muck City, football is salvation, an escape from the likelihood of prison or early death."
The cane sugar mill of the "Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative" (SCGC) is located at Belle Glade. During the crop season the factory employs 550 people.
As of Feb. 2013, the official unemployment rate was about 15%; however, the town's mayor suggested the actual unemployment rate was closer to 40%. The number of jobs available locally dropped as local agriculture shifted from vegetables to sugarcane, a more highly mechanized crop.
The United States Postal Service operates the Belle Glade Post Office.
The Florida Department of Corrections operated the Glades Correctional Institution in an unincorporated area in Palm Beach County near Belle Glade. It was founded in 1932, employed about 350, had a capacity of 918 inmates and was scheduled for closure in December 2011.
School District of Palm Beach County operates public schools.
- Gove Elementary
- Belle Glade Elementary
- Glade View Elementary
- Pioneer Park Elementary
- Sellew Belle Glade Excel Charter School
- Lake Shore Middle School
- Glades Central High School
- Glades Day School
- Lakeside Academy
- Palm Beach State College – Belle Glade Campus
- Reidel Anthony, former NFL wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Brad Banks, CFL quarterback, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; 2002 Heisman Trophy first runner-up for the University of Iowa
- Kelvin Benjamin, NFL wide receiver
- Travis Benjamin, NFL wide receiver and punt returner
- Rashaad Duncan, Former NFL Defensive Tackle for Tampa Bay, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins
- Jessie Hester, former NFL wide receiver, Los Angeles Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams
- Santonio Holmes, NFL wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears; Super Bowl XLIII MVP
- James Lee, NFL offensive lineman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Barkevious Mingo, NFL linebacker, Arizona Cardinals
- Jimmy Moreland, NFL cornerback, Washington Football Team
- Louis Oliver, former NFL safety, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals
- Fred Taylor, former NFL running back, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Deonte Thompson, NFL wide receiver
- Andre Waters, former NFL safety, Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals
- Rhondy Weston, former NFL defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns
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