Home Sweet Tree

Striving to make my retirement enjoyable and fruitful, I invest time surrounded by Florida’s natural beauty with a camera in hand. One recent steamy morning, I had a favorite place nearby to myself, enjoying some of the wonderful birds that nest there.  Summer Tanagers were singing overhead, joined by the warbling song of a Blue Grosbeak and many others, when a Red-Headed Woodpecker alighted on the dead pine snag I’d

Lessons of the seashells

Weaving history, science, and culture, Cynthia Barnett’s new book unlocks what we’ve missed about these ocean gems By Ron Cunningham | Photos by Betsy Hanson Featured image above: Environmental author Cynthia Barnett in the light-filled office where she wrote The Sound of the Sea, her arm resting on the four books she has authored. The first three dealt with fresh water issues; this one  “really completes the hydrologic cycle for

Florida Newspaper History Timeline 1783–2021

Our state’s evolving life has been mirrored in the pages of our newspapers, even as the landscape of Florida journalism grew, flourished, contracted, changed, and continues to transform. This excerpt is from a chronology that is part of the University of South Florida library’s digital collection. You can also download it here. By David Shedden 1783 - 19001783 The Treaty of Paris between Great Britain and the United States ends

The power of being seen

Since 1873, Florida’s Black newspapers have advocated, informed, and reflected lives often ignored By Kenya Woodard Featured image above: Josiah Walls, born enslaved in 1842, was a man of firsts – among them, owner/publisher of Florida’s first Black newspaper and the first Black man to serve his state in the U.S. Congress. Yet when he died in 1905 in Tallahassee, no state newspaper carried his obituary. “…no more striking demonstration

Anything is possible

A conversation with Florida Humanities’ new Executive Director Nashid Madyun By Jacki Levine and Keith Simmons Featured image above:  “The ability to know your neighbor helps you truly know yourself and, ultimately, contribute to a fair and vibrant society,” says Nashid Madyun, photographed on the grounds of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Long before Dr. Nashid Madyun became Florida Humanities’ new executive director in May, he had witnessed

An evening with Danielle Allen

Harvard University professor. Political theorist. Classicist. Author. Director of a center for ethics. Scholar on democracy, ancient Athenian and modern. By Jacki Levine Featured image above: Photographed here for a 2016 profile for Harvard Magazine, Danielle Allen is currently on leave from Harvard as she pursues the Democratic nomination for governor of Massachusetts. Her book, Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus, is due out in December. Danielle Allen’s head-turning list

Forgotten newspaper casts light on painful stories from Miami’s past

Ten years ago, Julio Capo was researching his book on Miami’s LGBTQ history before 1940 when he discovered a long-forgotten alternative weekly newspaper, Miami Life. By Janet Scherberger Featured image above: Miami Life used attention-grabbing headlines to challenge some of the most powerful state, local and national institutions of the time. “In the state archives I kept coming across references to this newspaper,” said Capo, who formerly worked in TV
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