Celebrate Black History Month 2019

Explore the richness of Florida’s African American history, culture, and art. Throughout February, the Florida Humanities Council is sponsoring a host of programs. These are free and open to the public.

We also encourage you to explore local African American history with Florida Stories. The walking tour app features behind-the-scenes tours and rich stories of Florida communities.

FORUM Magazine holds many more stories of the African American experience in Florida. Check out some of our favorite issues, which are listed below.

Heritage Trails are another wonderful way to explore Florida history. We previously supported two heritage trails: The Highwayman Trail in Ft. Pierce, and the Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail, also in Ft. Pierce.

Public Events

Check out the list below to see the programs that are being offered. More information can be found on our events calendar.

From Colored to Black encompasses over eighty years of Florida’s Black Oral History with stories from the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement, the resettlement of Rosewood, Gainesville’s Old Lincoln High School, and more. This unique theatrical experience provides the foundation for critical dialogue around Black History and identity.

Written & Co-Directed by: Brittany Caldwell
Produced and & Co-Directed by: Jeffrey Pufahl
Production Design: Xotchil Musser
Videography: Darius Brown & the students of LUMA

Performance dates and times:

Saturday, March 16th, 2019 at 7:30pm
Sunday, March 17th, 2019 at 2pm
Squitieri Studio Theatre
3201 Hull Rd, Gainesville
Reserve tickets

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 10am
Anderson-Price Memorial Building
42 N Beach St, Ormond Beach
More information


Dr. Kitty Oliver

An Evening of Jazz and Multicolored Memories
February 1 @ 7:00 pm
Panama City

Dr. Kitty Oliver shares personal experiences moving from segregation to integration to multicultural diversity in the international arena drawing on poignant, humorous, revealing reflections as an author, race relations oral historian, national media personality and recording artist who talks about race in a hopeful, healing way.

The Colored Train Depot, Actors Warehouse

The American Black Experience: Then & Now
February 1 @ 8:00 pm
Gainesville

“The American Black Experience: Then & Now” is a social and cultural criticism of racism in America through an important historical lens. This project will also include community engagement sessions.

Dr. Anthony Dixon

Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement
February 4 @ 6:30 pm
Sanibel

Dr. Anthony Dixon, Archivist and Professor of History at Bethune-Cookman University will discuss Dr. King’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement with specific details on Dr. King’s activities in Florida. He will be joined on the program by Rev. Dr. John H. Danner, Senior Pastor of Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ.

Florida Soul
February 5 @ 2:00 pm
Fort Pierce

Drawing from his book, Florida Soul, John Capouya will play classic R&B, show vintage and contemporary photos of soul greats, and share his research into this important musical history in a presentation that’s as entertaining as it is educational.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life
February 5 @ 5:00 pm
Clewiston

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. Ersula Odom portrays Dr. Bethune in 1954 and shares fascinating stories of her extraordinary contribution to democracy. She will then answer questions. After Dr. Bethune “leaves”, Odom will answer questions regarding her research.

Dr. Kitty Oliver

An Evening of Jazz and Multicolored Memories
February 9 @ 4:00 pm
Coral Springs

A professionally-performed cabaret performance of inspirational jazz vocals and literary stories tracing the common journey of native-born Americans and immigrants as we adapt to life in a diverse society and social change on a global scale.

Dr. Marvin Dunn

Black Miami In Photographs
February 20 @ 7:00 pm
Opa-locka

Black Miami In Photographs is a photo exhibition designed to celebrate the rich history of Black people in Miami by telling a story that has become shrouded in mystery, despite Black people having played key roles in the development and incorporation of the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County. The exhibition opens February 20th at 7pm and will feature a lecture by Dr. Dunn.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life
February 14 @ 12:00 pm
Riviera Beach

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. Ersula Odom portrays Dr. Bethune in 1954 and shares fascinating stories of her extraordinary contribution to democracy. She will then answer questions. After Dr. Bethune “leaves”, Odom will answer questions regarding her research.

Dr. Kitty Oliver

Race and Change Across Cultures and Generations: Florida Stories
February 15 @ 6:00 pm
Fernandina Beach

This multimedia program blends lively cross-cultural stories, research and discussion on coming of age with integration in ethnically diverse Florida in a 21st Century dialogue on race in a non-confrontational way.

Dr. Kitty Oliver

An Evening of Jazz and Multicolored Memories
February 21 @ 3:00 pm
Boca Raton

A professionally-performed cabaret performance of inspirational jazz vocals and literary stories tracing the common journey of native-born Americans and immigrants as we adapt to life in a diverse society and social change on a global scale.

Dr Tameka Bradley Hobbs

Strange Fruit in Florida
February 21 @ 6:00 pm
Lake Wales

Despite its reputation as the “Sunshine State” and a tourist destination, Florida harbors a lengthy and painful history of racial violence. Dr. Tameka Hobbs examines the history of lynching and racial violence in Florida, outlining the overall arc of the “lynching era” in the United States.

Dr. Anthony Dixon

The African Diaspora Experience in Florida
February 23 @ 10:00 am
Ormond Beach

Florida has a relationship with African descendants unlike any other state. This relationship has had a direct impact on the growth of Florida. Throughout each period of Florida history there is a significant presence of the African diaspora. Professor Dixon discusses this relationship by utilizing both broad and specific topics from 1513 to the present.

Florida Soul Music Heritage
February 28 @ 6:00 pm
Fort Myers

Though we usuallly thinnk of Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans, Florida has a rich soul history that’s gone largely unnoticed. Florida Soul author John Capouya chronicles the heritage of soul music in Florida, from Ray Charles’s earliest recordings in the1940s through KC & the Sunshine Band’s explosive hits of the late 1970s.

Florida’s Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad
February 28 @ 6:00 pm
Palmetto

Angola was a community of freedom seekers that in the 1810s was located between the Manatee River and Sarasota Bay. It was a place of refuge and peace until it was destroyed in a massive slave raid in 1821.

Florida Stories

Download Florida Stories to learn more about these African American communities.

Learn more about world-renown author Zora Neale Hurston and members of the “Original Highwaymen” including Alfred Hair, Harold Newton, Mary Ann Carroll, and Livingston “Castro” Roberts on the Florida Stories, Walk Lincoln Park tour.

In 1945 the Virginia Key Beach Park officially became Miami’s black beach, shortly thereafter it quickly became a cherished getaway and social gathering place. Learn more on the Walk Virginia Key Beach Park tour.

Lincolnville, an area of St. Augustine was at the hub of the Civil Rights movement in Florida. On this tour you’ll learn about a local dentist and NAACP representative named Robert Hayling who initiated the protest actions in Lincolnville.

On this tour you’ll visit The Hill, Apalachicola’s African American community. Learn about one of the oldest houses in The Hill which may be the only documented case of an African American purchasing property in pre-Civil War Apalachicola.

FORUM Magazines

Heritage Trails

The Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Heritage Trail

The Highwaymen Heritage Trail

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