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Florida’s Historic Coast Recognizes Black History Month

Friday, Feb 02, 2024

Florida’s Historic Coast is well-known for its rich Spanish and British history, but it’s becoming even more recognized for its significant place in African American history. It spans centuries, from the arrival of black Spanish soldiers in the 16th century and the country’s original Underground Railroad in the 1700s to the birthplace of the first African American college graduate in 1824 to historic protests and sit-ins by Black activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s, paving the way for the Civil Rights Act. In February, Florida’s Historic Coast recognizes Black History Month with a host of events, programs and historic spaces. Celebrate Black art at various galleries in St. Augustine. Photographer and fine artist Lenny Foster transcends history with his photography that tells the story of historical black figures through a modern lens. His One Forty Four Gallery is a catalog of sublime moments translated into film. The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum at Flagler College hosts cultural and historical exhibitions to expand students’ artistic knowledge. Through February 21, the gallery will host “Golden Thread” by New York artist Ilana Harris-Babou. She will host an artist walkthrough on February 2. The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum then welcomes Artist-in-Residence Raheleh Filsoofi from through February 9. Fort Mose Historic State Park, the first free Black settlement in the United States, recognizes the brave souls who made the perilous journey to Spanish La Florida with Flight to Freedom. Offered Thursday, February 1 through Saturday, February 3, the event features tours and culinary and military demonstrations. Head to downtown St. Augustine for the moving “I Lived Here, As Well – Together,” at the Ximenez-Fatio House. This historical performance offers a first-person perspective of an enslaved man and woman, from enslavement to freedom. This program is offered every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning beginning February 8 and continuing through the end of the month. The Lincolnville neighborhood is the epicenter of Black history in St. Augustine. Visitors interested in its history can visit the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center or walk the ACCORD Freedom Trail Project, which consists of 31 historic markers located at various sites significant to the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement. Black musicians are taking center stage in the month of February! Café Eleven welcomes blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Selwyn Birchwood on February 2 and John Primer, former bandmaster and lead guitarist for the legendary Muddy Waters, on February 25. On February 3, the Romanza Collage Concert Series presents “Classically Black: Piano Compositions by Composers of African-American Descent,” a performance by Dr. Richard Alston, a virtuoso pianist and accomplished recitalist who combines music with cultural discussion about Black history. Florida’s Historic Coast is a playground for foodies looking for unique and delicious experiences. In the extensive culinary landscape, there are plenty of Black chefs making their mark on the food scene. Narrated tours, museumshistoric sitesspecial events, concerts and self-guided walking tours provide opportunities to experience the rich history of the black experience in the Oldest City throughout the year. For information go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau websites at or