Footsteps from the Past

Tampa’s diverse immigrant communities cross paths in a single story. By Janet Scherberger In the late 1880s, Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood emerged as a center of Florida’s immigrant community, bringing groups together from all around the world. Many of them came from Cuba and worked in Tampa’s renowned cigar industry or provided goods and services to those who did. They established traditions and laid the foundation for the diverse cultural

A Great Escape

An enslaved Floridian’s astounding journey to freedom inspires awe, conversation—and poetry. By Janet Scherberger Editor's Note: The exhibit “Journey to Freedom: The Odyssey of Abolitionist Moses Roper” won a Secretary of State award through the Florida Main Street Awards Program.  In 1834, 19-year-old Moses Roper had already tried to escape from slavery 19 times. A forced laborer on an Apalachicola steamboat, Roper was ferociously beaten after every attempt, but undaunted,

Award-Winning Author Lauren Groff and Book + Bottle Discuss Her Recent Novels, Best Wine and Book Pairings

With the 2022 National Book Festival fast approaching, Florida Humanities is highlighting the authors and books selected to represent the Sunshine State at this year’s festival. As part of the book festival’s Route1 Reads initiative, Florida Humanities was tasked with promoting stories that illuminate the important aspects of the state and commonwealth connected by the 2,369 miles of U.S. Route 1 from Kent, Maine to Key West, Florida.  Our Route1

FORUM Wins Big at Top Statewide Magazine Awards

FORUM, the magazine of Florida Humanities, won 16 awards at the 2022 Florida Magazine Association Charlie Awards Gala on August 5 in Ponte Vedra Beach. The magazine received six first-place “Charlies,” six silver and four bronze — including a Charlie for Best Overall: Writing and sweeping the Best Writing: In-Depth Reporting category. The awards recognized outstanding writing, design and photography achievements by Florida magazines in 2021. Congratulations to the entire

The Colonel

Tampa’s “Colonel” Tom Parker made Elvis Presley the greatest pop star of all time. 
But did he ruin him as an artist? By Bob Kealing All eyes were on Elvis Presley as he strode into a press conference at the International Hotel in Las Vegas on Aug. 1, 1969. Few noticed “Colonel” Tom Parker, the star’s ubiquitous 60-year-old manager, who stood to the side as Presley took a seat at

Running toward the Sun

Tribal elder Betty Mae Jumper recounts how in 1837, two young Seminoles 
escaped from the Trail of Tears. In 1830, the United States began rounding up all Southeastern Indians east of the Mississippi River and marching them to what had been declared Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. Many perished on the grueling journey, which became known as the Trail of Tears. Only the Florida Seminoles offered armed resistance, setting off

In the Shadow of Old Joe

The mayor of Newberry on his town’s work to acknowledge—
and heal from—its tragic racial past. By Jordan Marlowe Alachua County, home to Gainesville and the University of Florida, sits in the middle of North Central Florida. As a college town, Gainesville is a blue dot on the region’s deep-red political map. I live in that deep-red area, in Newberry, a small rural community roughly 15 miles west of Gainesville. The inherent

State of Rock

Since 1969, four iconic bands have ruled American classic rock, their songs on a perpetual loop via FM and satellite radio. Each band includes two guitarists with deep Florida roots, supplying the gold and platinum riffs. Those eight artists make a compelling case for Florida as an incubator of great American classic rock guitarists. That’s not to mention many others from the Sunshine State who have also left a mark

Lift Every Voice 
and Sing

Jacksonville’s multi-faceted James Weldon Johnson wrote the stirring hymn that has become a part of American life. By Craig Pittman On a warm and wet September evening last year, the first football game of 2021 was about to start. The two teams lined up on the field at Raymond James Stadium, each in their respective end zones—the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on one side, the Dallas Cowboys on the other. Before
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