Margaret Ann Mcqueen, Jacksonville, Councilwoman

Jacksonville Beach Renames Street In Honor Of First Black City Councilwoman

Jacksonville Beach renames one of its streets to honor its first Black city councilwoman, Margaret Ann McQueen.

Jacksonville Beach is renaming one of its streets to honor its first Black city councilwomen. Margaret Ann McQueen will now be forever remembered for her place in the Florida city’s history.

A street sign for McQueen is prominently featured at the intersection of Second Ave South and Seventh Street South within the city, located about 20 miles outside of Jacksonville. Her efforts toward bettering her community simultaneously mark a stride in diversity, as reported by News4Jax.

According to Beaches Museum, McQueen was born in the area in 1940. She remained a resident of Beaches community for nearly her whole life. Upon returning to her hometown with her children in 1969, McQueen received her degree in education from the University of North Florida in 1971.

Teaching at one of the local elementary schools led her to community organizing, noticing how drugs and violence were flooding the neighborhood. Before diving into local politics directly, she lead the Jacksonville Beach Community Action Co-op to foster better relations between the city police and residents in 1989. The Co-op also worked in addressing the uptick in crime within Beaches.

Two years later, she ran for a City Council seat representing District 1. At the age of 51, the mother of four became the first ever Black member of Jacksonville Beach’s City Council. McQueen’s election occurred through newly-established district voting, where voters could choose their candidates based on their location.

She held the seat from 1991 to 1994, before taking another term in 1998. Through her tenure, she brought together the white and Black residents through volunteerism efforts. She also advocated for equal representation in local leadership.

Although McQueen died in 2013 at 73-years-old, her legacy of bringing together the community of Beaches lives on. As City Councilwoman, McQueen paved the way for more organizers to emerge as representatives for their neighborhoods. She remains a pivotal figure in the city’s history and politics.