Refusing to be Silenced: The Political History and Future of Black Women in Florida

The passage of the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. Despite the constitutional security granted by the amendment, Black women–and Black men–were not able to exercise voting privileges. This did not prevent Black women from engaging in political organizing and registering others to vote. When Black women were finally able to vote with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Black women began to enter national politics in force.

Genesis: Sites and Black Women’s Stories in Old (North) Florida

The history of Black women sits at an intersection of race and gender which is often ignored. While studies of Black history can compensate for part of this deficit, Black women’s stories can still be pushed from mainstream conversations. In part one of this series, our scholars will discuss the physical locations and stories unique to Black women in Old (north) Florida.

“Black Lives Matter”: The Current Struggle for Civil Rights and Racial Justice in Florida

The term “Black Lives Matter” started as a hashtag in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s 2012 shooting in Sanford, Florida. Since then, it has become a national movement that has garnered praise and controversy. This panel will explore the historical precedent for “Black Lives Matter” and the work of modern civil rights movements in Florida and beyond.

“I Am a Man”: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Florida

Florida experienced the highest number of lynchings per capita out of any state in the country. This violence is often less understood in context with the global perception of Florida as a state with pristine beaches and perfect weather. “I Am A Man” explores the Sunshine State as a key battleground for the Civil Rights Movement. From the murder of Harry and Harriet Moore, to the Groveland Four, to the activism and protests in St. Augustine, Tallahassee, and Miami, African Americans in Florida fought—and occasionally died—to achieve justice and equality.

Reconstruction and the Jim Crow Era

Following the end of the Civil War, Florida joined the other former Confederate states in rebuilding the nation. Similar to other states, the era of Reconstruction saw the promise of African American advancement in education, politics, and business. Despite these advancements, Jim Crow segregation also rose, eventually subverting the progress of African Americans and leading to increased violence throughout Florida. This presentation will explore the progress and peril African Americans

The Spanish Colonial and Slavery Eras in Florida

The Spanish colony of Florida was established in 1513 with the arrival of Juan Ponce de Leon. Subsequent interactions and conflicts between European settlers, indigenous groups, and peoples of African descent established the foundation of Florida’s history and culture. Florida’s status as a “backwater” colony made it an attractive destination for enslaved Africans, enabling them to establish settlements like Fort Mose and other colonies to celebrate freedom.

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