Presented By Dr. Kitty Oliver

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. 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. This innovative “Race and Change” program has family-friendly appeal to audiences across races, ethnicities, cultures and generations using music and storytelling to relate history to the present and bringing together people across cultures for an inspirational, entertaining event.

*Note: Additional charge for musical accompanist to be coordinated with speaker.

Dr. Kitty Oliver is an author, oral historian, media producer and professional singer with a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing and a Ph.D. focusing on race and ethnic communication. The native Floridian and former university professor is founder of the “Race and Change” historical archive of cross-cultural race and ethnic relations oral histories, the only one of its size and scope in the country, Her sought-after insights and research have been featured in books, public television and webcast radio productions, on CNN, and, most recently, in a standout interview in the Ron Howard Beatles documentary Eight Days a Night-The Touring Years now playing in theaters internationally to rave reviews. This in-demand artist also has a CD of original inspirational jazz music and weaves music, media and storytelling into her innovative, creative, uplifting programs on race and ethnic relations designed to bridge audiences across cultures and generations.

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Dr. Kitty Oliver


Presented By Dr. Kitty Oliver

This is a how-to workshop on the oral history process and the use of oral history to foster community engagement and team-building among diverse groups in periods of transition and growth. Participants explore techniques for telling personal stories and sharing them in group settings and public projects to bridge racial and ethnic differences between groups – including native-born and immigrant cultures, longtime residents and new arrivals, and elders and youth – as well as tensions within specific racial and ethnic communities. This program can also bring together diverse entities within the business, community, governmental and/or educational arenas that are looking for a different approach to addressing race and ethnic relations in an inclusive way.

Dr. Kitty Oliver is an author, oral historian, media producer and professional singer with a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing and a Ph.D. focusing on race and ethnic communication. The native Floridian and former university professor is founder of the “Race and Change” historical archive of cross-cultural race and ethnic relations oral histories, the only one of its size and scope in the country, Her sought-after insights and research have been featured in books, public television and webcast radio productions, on CNN, and, most recently, in a standout interview in the Ron Howard Beatles documentary Eight Days a Night-The Touring Years now playing in theaters internationally to rave reviews. This in-demand artist also has a CD of original inspirational jazz music and weaves music, media and storytelling into her innovative, creative, uplifting programs on race and ethnic relations designed to bridge audiences across cultures and generations.

Required Equipment:

  • PowerPoint-capable computer, projector & screen

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Ways to contact:

Ready:

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to participate before you apply.

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Dr. Kitty Oliver


Presented By Dr. Kitty Oliver

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. Drawing on an archive of over 125 oral histories of Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians and Caribbeans from a variety of heritages as well as candid intergenerational video and audio interviews on race relations experiences, Dr. Oliver explores how far we’ve come and how progress can be made in a hopeful way that inspires our youth. As a creative kick-off for or wrap-up to a community event or series, this program is informative, entertaining and thought-provoking.

Dr. Kitty Oliver is an author, oral historian, media producer and professional singer with a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing and a Ph.D. focusing on race and ethnic communication. The native Floridian and former university professor is founder of the “Race and Change” historical archive of cross-cultural race and ethnic relations oral histories, the only one of its size and scope in the country, Her sought-after insights and research have been featured in books, public television and webcast radio productions, on CNN, and, most recently, in a standout interview in the Ron Howard Beatles documentary Eight Days a Night-The Touring Years now playing in theaters internationally to rave reviews. This in-demand artist also has a CD of original inspirational jazz music and weaves music, media and storytelling into her innovative, creative, uplifting programs on race and ethnic relations designed to bridge audiences across cultures and generations.

Required Equipment:

  • PowerPoint-capable computer, projector & screen

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Ways to contact:

Ready:

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Dr. Kitty Oliver


Presented By Lu Vickers

In 1949, during the days of Jim Crow, when African Americans did not have access to many of the nation’s recreation areas, Silver Springs’ owners Carl Ray and Shorty Davidson did something no other Florida attraction did: they opened a parallel attraction for African Americans downriver from the headspring, calling it “Paradise Park for Colored People.”   They did so at the urging of their African American glass bottom boat captains who wanted their families and friends to have access to one of Florida’s most famous natural resources: Silver Springs.  Ray and Davidson put Eddie Vereen, a former Silver Springs’ boat captain, in complete control of Paradise Park and he made it into one of the most popular places for African Americans to visit from 1949 to 1969 when it closed. This presentation will use vintage photographs to cover the history of segregation in recreation areas across the country and then delve more deeply into the history of African Americans at Silver Springs from its earliest days to the heyday of Paradise Park, using vintage photographs, video and brochures.

Lu Vickers is the author of one novel and several books on Florida history, including Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids, and Cypress Gardens: America’s Tropical Wonderland.  She has also received three Individual Artists Grants from Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs for fiction.  In 2014, as she was in the final stages of editing her latest book, Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for excerpts from a novel in progress.

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Lu Vickers


Presented By Michael Butler

The idea that race relations in Florida did not experience the tumult that other Deep South states did during the civil rights movement dominate popular perception. This presentation examines the concept of “Florida exceptionalism” in relation to the black freedom struggle and places the Sunshine State into its proper regional and national perspective.

Dr. J. Michael Butler is an Associate Professor of History at Flagler College, where he has taught since August 2008. He received both his Masters and Doctorate in History from the University of Mississippi, where he specialized in 20th century Southern history with an emphasis on the civil rights movement. Dr. Butler co-authored Victory After the Fall: The Memories of Civil Rights Activist H. K. Matthews, has published essays in the Journal of Southern History, the Florida Historical Quarterly, Southern Cultures, Popular Music and Society, and the Journal of Mississippi History, and written multiple reviews and encyclopedia entries for various academic journals. His latest manuscript is titled Beyond Integration: The Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County, Florida, 1960-2000 and will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in Spring 2016.

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  • PowerPoint Capability
  • Microphone (depending on size of venue)

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Dr. J Michael Butler


Presented By Michael Butler

Although the 1960s civil rights movement destroyed most visible and dramatic signs of racial segregation, institutionalized forms racism persisted beyond integration in many forms. This presentation examines a number of events that occurred during the 1970s in Escambia County to demonstrate how – and why – the struggle against racism continued well after the previous decade’s legislative victories.

Dr. J. Michael Butler is an Associate Professor of History at Flagler College, where he has taught since August 2008. He received both his Masters and Doctorate in History from the University of Mississippi, where he specialized in 20th century Southern history with an emphasis on the civil rights movement. Dr. Butler co-authored Victory After the Fall: The Memories of Civil Rights Activist H. K. Matthews, has published essays in the Journal of Southern History, the Florida Historical Quarterly, Southern Cultures, Popular Music and Society, and the Journal of Mississippi History, and written multiple reviews and encyclopedia entries for various academic journals. His latest manuscript is titled Beyond Integration: The Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County, Florida, 1960-2000 and will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in Spring 2016.

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  • PowerPoint Capability
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Dr. J Micheal Butler


Presented By Michael Butler

The civil rights movement in St. Augustine received national attention when Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the city in 1964. Why did he come to St. Augustine, what were his goals, and how did his two appearances impact an already-vibrant local struggle? This presentation places what Dr. King called “the magnificent drama” within context of a movement where local and national objectives both complemented and contradicted each other in ways that continue to impact contemporary race relations.

Dr. J. Michael Butler is an Associate Professor of History at Flagler College, where he has taught since August 2008. He received both his Masters and Doctorate in History from the University of Mississippi, where he specialized in 20th century Southern history with an emphasis on the civil rights movement. Dr. Butler co-authored Victory After the Fall: The Memories of Civil Rights Activist H. K. Matthews, has published essays in the Journal of Southern History, the Florida Historical Quarterly, Southern Cultures, Popular Music and Society, and the Journal of Mississippi History, and written multiple reviews and encyclopedia entries for various academic journals. His latest manuscript is titled Beyond Integration: The Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County, Florida, 1960-2000 and will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in Spring 2016.

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  • PowerPoint Capability
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Dr. J Micheal Butler


Presented By Roger Smith

During the American Revolution the British military offered freedom to enslaved blacks who fled to British camps to fight against the rebellion. But there was often a catch. This offer wasn’t available to those whose owners were loyal to the Crown. For those taken-in, many were cast aside when disease swept through a camp, or abandoned to an oncoming American army during retreats; some were resold into slavery. For a great many people these promises of liberty were a complete façade, designed only to ruin the highly profitable southern plantation-economies of the newly-founded United States. But many did indeed regain control of their own destinies against all odds. The role of British East Florida in this tragic era of American history needs to be understood. The heroics and heartbreaks of southern blacks demands to be heard.

Dr. Smith received his Bachelor’s Degree in History in 2006, a Master’s Degree in American History in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Early American History and Atlantic World Studies, with a certificate of scholarship in Museum Studies, in 2011 – all from the University of Florida. His work on the American Revolution in the South has received the Aschoff Fellowship Dissertation Award and the Jack and Celia Proctor Award in Southern History. Dr. Smith’s upcoming book, The Last Union Jack, discusses the little-told story of British intention and military activity in the southern colonies from 1775 – 1780, as recorded from a British perspective.

Dr. Smith now represents the firm of Colonial Research Associates, Inc., and speaks across the South on his Revolutionary War research. His current projects include the new AMC television series Turn, a spy thriller set on Long Island, New York, in 1778. Dr. Smith provides historical research for Super Music Vision, the music production company for this and other AMC programs. You may also see Dr. Smith speak of Florida’s Revolutionary War history in the documentary, America: the Prequel, a four-part series on the 450-year history of the city of St. Augustine. Most recently, Dr. Smith is in the process of selecting several primary stories of interest from his 5 ½ years of research on this topic and reworking them into a series of six 32-page supplemental texts that are designed to reach a broad general audience and will include state standard requirements in the Humanities and Social Sciences for the State of Florida’s public school systems. The first two books in the series, “The 14th Colony: George Washington’s Planned Invasions of East Florida” and “Hope of Freedom: Southern Blacks and the American Revolution,” are available and may be found on the company website, www.ColonialRA.com. Book three, “Women of the American Revolution: Lost Voices of America’s First Generation,” is in production and will be available by spring 2016.

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Roger Smith


Presented By Anthony Dixon

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.

Topics include:

  • Florida Maroons/Black Seminoles
  • Slavery in Florida
  • African Americans and Florida Reconstruction
  • Blacks in Florida Tourism
  • Blacks in the Citrus Industry
  • The Civil Rights Movement in Florida

Anthony Dixon is the Founder and President of Archival and Historical Research Associates, LLC (AHRA), a public history company. He is also the Archivist and Assistant Professor of History at Bethune – Cookman University and Chairman of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission (the only national heritage area under the Department of Interior/National Parks Service in the United States). As a public historian his mission is to help “bridge the gap between academia and the public” while also preparing the next generation of historic preservationists.

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Anthony Dixon


Presented By Gary Monroe

This lively PowerPoint-assisted talk relates the story of these now-acclaimed artists, who taught themselves to paint idyllic versions of the Florida landscape and sell their creations door-to-door during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Their paintings have become the measure of indigenous Florida art and are now celebrated and widely collected. Having written the seminal book that introduced the Highwaymen to the world, Mr.  Monroe successfully nominated them into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

When Gary Monroe isn’t traveling the world to photograph, he spends his time looking at life in Florida through his photography and his writings. His imagery and his literary works have been recognized by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Humanities Council, and the Fulbright Foundation. His long-term photography projects include Miami’s old-world Jewish community, Haiti and Haitian immigration, and tourism in the Sunshine State.

Focusing on self-taught and vernacular art, Mr. Monroe began his literary pursuits with The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters (UPF, 2001). In this book, he told the story of these painters and offers a fresh interpretation of their art. Consequently, public interest in these compelling, but forgotten, artists was revived. The New York Times wrote a Lively Arts front-page article about the book, saying that “These colorful landscapes… shaped the state’s popular image as much as oranges and alligators.” In subsequent books, including Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman and The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams, Mr. Monroe continued to tell this inspiring story. Additionally, he has brought the Highwaymen story to the citizenry of Florida through some 250 public lectures. Based on his nomination, these painters were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004. He has written other books about Florida art, including Extraordinary Interpretations: Self-taught Florida Artists (2003), Silver Springs: the Underwater Photographs of Bruce Mozert (2008), and Florida’s American Heritage River: Images from the St. Johns Region (2009).

More information on Gary Monroe can be found on his website: www.garymonroe.net

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Gary Monroe