As early as 1825, African Americans settled in the Jackson County area. After 1865, interconnected communities developed their own infrastructure including cemeteries, schools, and churches. From these communities, a large population came together on a 563 acre parcel, later named West End, near downtown Marianna. It was bordered by Borden Street, Lafayette Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and South Street. Home styles included shotgun, block types, and brick ranch. Over the years, the West End community grew from hundreds to over a thousand. Farming and sharecropping were originally the main sources of income, but later residents also held teaching and governmental jobs. A renaissance period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought the construction of new schools and churches, coupled with thriving, minority-owned businesses. Historic institutions in the West End were St. James A.M.E. Church, St. Luke Baptist Church, Gilmore Academy, and Jackson County Training School. Involvement in city government remained important and five city mayors hailed from West End between the 1980s and 2016. The community's maxim evolved from the Akan word, Sankofa, meaning "learn from our past, going into the future."