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Multicultural Travel News – February is Black History Month

Monday, Feb 19, 2024
Multicultural Travel News

February is Black History Month

News Briefs:
  • Visit St. Augustine Unveils New Black History App
  • Florida’s Historic Coast Recognizes Black History Month
  • Arkansas Heritage Continues to Preserve and Celebrate Black Experience
  • 10 Places to Celebrate Black History Year-Round in Tennessee
  • Black History Month in the Richmond Region Presents a Powerful Past and a Promising Present
News Briefs
Visit St. Augustine Unveils New Black History App
Florida’s Historic Coast witnessed the genesis of America’s Black History
Black History — which is American history — is stepping into the forefront. St. Augustine’s 450+ year story gives a unique, international view into this topic. In an effort to make the extensive history of African-descended people in the oldest city accessible to all, Visit St. Augustine has created an all-new Black History app — putting history in the palm of your hand. Created in collaboration with Florida’s Historic Coast, this application is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store now. “In our work with the team at Visit St. Augustine, we wanted to develop a new Black History app for St. Augustine that would amplify marginalized voices and preserve the rich tapestry of Black History in St. Johns County,” stated Susan Phillips, President & CEO of the St. Johns County Visitors & Convention Bureau. “By utilizing technology, our visitors and residents will now have another way to engage with a more comprehensive understanding of our shared past, fostering a future where knowledge, appreciation, and unity flourish.” When St. Augustine was founded in September of 1565, free and enslaved Africans stepped ashore with the Spanish crew of Pedro Menendez de Avilés. In October 1687, the first recorded group of fugitives who were escaping British slavery arrived at the city gate, asking to be accepted into the “true faith.” They were the first of hundreds of enslaved people who would seek sanctuary in Spanish Florida, creating an early version of the Underground Railroad that ran south instead of north. This eventually led to the founding of Fort Mose, the first legally sanctioned free Black settlement in the United States. Lincolnville Historic District, originally called “Africa” or “Little Africa” was founded in 1866 by Black Americans. Now, we are approaching the 60th anniversary of the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which many historians believe would not have passed if it were not for the resistance and courage shown by activists here in St. Augustine. “The Visit St. Augustine team is grateful to everyone who has collaborated with us to make the release possible,” explained Cheyenne Koth Leahy, one of the writers of the new app. “This initial project stage has shown us that St. Augustine’s historical and cultural organizations exist in an ecosystem that thrives when we communicate and celebrate with each other. We are excited to share the Black History App — and help it evolve together.” Created by Visit St. Augustine and available now for download, the app’s functions and content seamlessly integrate history with real life exploration (including a “What’s Nearby” tool that uses the cell phone’s location services to show users nearby historical sites). Research is conducted through reputable sources, including articles and books by historians from across the world. Foundational research databases include Florida Memory, the Library of Congress, the Civil Rights Library of St. Augustine (maintained by Flagler College), and (maintained by the National Endowment for the Humanities). The St. Augustine Black History App has four main sections — Events Timeline, Historical People, Historical Places, Historical Topics. The information within is inter-connected, allowing any user to delve deeper. The Events Timeline is the backbone of the St. Augustine Black History App. This section contains an overview of the 450+ year history of Florida’s Historic Coast, from the 1513 voyage of Ponce de Leon to the recent Fort Mose groundbreaking ceremony on January 19, 2024. The Historical People Section is composed of biographical “profiles,” highlighting the stories of Black people who have either resided or spent significant time in St. Augustine. From icons like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Frederick Douglass to lesser-known local heroes, like Francisco Menendez, the leader of Fort Mose. Each historical person profile includes a short biography, links to related pages on the app, a media gallery, and a personalized event timeline. The Historical Place Sectionis very similar, including profiles on sites that relate to Black History, each being a setting for unique stories and challenging events. Every historical place profile provides an overview of the site’s history, a media gallery, a unique event timeline, as well as links to related people and topics. Every Historical Person and Historical Place profile includes a bibliography of sources used to create the content. The Historical Topics Section connects the Historical People and Historical Places through “topic pages” that explore time periods, themes, and local groups. For example, the Civil Rights Movement topic page includes the “place profiles” of the ACCORD Museum, Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, and St. Paul AME Church and the “person profiles” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. R. B. Hayling. Each topic page also has its own unique timeline. Visit St. Augustine will update the app’s features and content on a quarterly basis with new content and functionality. The app will evolve as history continues to be discovered and uncovered, providing a layered experience for all users. As projects like the reconstruction at Fort Mose Historic State Park begin and St. Augustine vies to become home to the proposed Florida State Black History museum, the significant Black History of Florida’s Historic Coast is stepping into the forefront. Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, the rural beauty of Hastings, Elkton, St. Johns, and 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. Visitor Information Centers are located at 10 Castillo Drive, St. Augustine; 200 Solana Rd. Suite B, Ponte Vedra Beach; and at the St. Johns County Beach Pier Park, 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. For advance travel information call 1-800-653-2489 or go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau websites at or
Florida’s Historic Coast Recognizes Black History Month
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
Arkansas Heritage Continues to Preserve and Celebrate Black Experience
The Division of Arkansas Heritage invites visitors and residents to spend their Spring Break exploring the Black experience in Arkansas. In honor of Black History Month, interested individuals can visit numerous cultural sites and museums across the state to experience authentic Arkansas heritage, such as: Explore the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a nationally accredited, world-class museum and cultural center in Little Rock telling Arkansas’ Black story; Located in downtown Helena is the Delta Cultural Center, which presents the story of the Arkansas Delta through award-winning interactive exhibits highlighting the region’s unique cultural and musical legacy; Travel the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail to experience the most significant sites in Little Rock related to the Civil Rights Movement, including the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site; Immerse yourself in art with the 2024 Small Works on Paper exhibition from the Arkansas Arts Council, which is on display at Ouachita Baptist University’s Rosemary Adams Gallery in Arkadelphia from Feb. 2-23. Many of the pieces that were chosen from the 200 entries center around the Black experience, highlighting the overwhelming talent among Arkansas’ Black community; Explore the Arkansas State Archives, which collects materials on Arkansas’ Black history and history-makers with help from the Black History Commission of Arkansas to demonstrate the contributions and impact of Black Arkansans on the state’s history. Learn more about these activities and others by visiting Arkansas
10 Places to Celebrate Black History Year-Round in Tennessee
Tennessee has 14 locations along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The state is home to famous writers, music legends and talented photographers. Learn their stories at these 10 places to celebrate Black history year-round in Tennessee. The Bessie Smith Cultural Center, founded by empowering visionary leaders from Chattanooga, pays homage to the late “Empress of the Blues” Bessie Smith. The center preserves and celebrates African American history and culture through art, education, research and entertainment. The new exhibit “Chattanooga’s Black Soundtrack” highlights local artists, like Usher Kane Brown and The Impressions. Visit black-owned businesses and restaurants in Chattanooga.The Beck Cultural Exchange Center is a historic community treasure dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting artifacts and evidence of contributions relating to history and culture of African Americans in East Tennessee and America. The center creates immersive educational experiences to promote learning for present and future generations. From arts and culture to attractions, restaurants, breweries and businesses, here are additional ways to celebrate Black history in Knoxville.Learn about the courageous stories of the Clinton 12, who bravely fought for equal access to education. Green McAdoo Cultural Center shares thelegacy of what happened in 1956 and how it shaped the students and the community. Step inside a 1950s classroom and follow the chronological story of desegregation at Clinton High School, the first integration of a public high school in the South, with life-size photographs and narratives. Listen to stories from the students in episode three of the TN Civil Rights Trail podcast. Travel Tennessee’s stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. An unlikely friendship created maybe the greatest story you’ve never heard, told at Nearest Green Distillery. Tour the distillery and taste Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, which honors the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green, who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. Be sure to stay for local cuisine, Sunday Brunch or a cocktail at Humble Baron, the world’s longest bar, where everyone has a seat at the table. Ruby’s Happy Farm was built on family legacy land and named after the family matriarch. Ashley Brooks is the third generation of her family to farm this land and opened the property to the community in the inaugural Juneteenth Festival. 2024’s event, “Ruby’s Happy Farm Feel Good Festival,” is slated for June 22, 2024 and will include vendors, entertainment and presentations on agriculture, history and wellness, including beekeeping, self-care, small farm operations and a history of Juneteenth.The McLemore House, purchased by former enslaved man Harvey McLemore in 1880, was a model of community development in Hard Bargain, the first African American middle-class neighborhood in Franklin consisting of carpenters, teachers, masons and farmers. The house is now a museum promoting cultural and historical preservation, celebrating the rich African American heritage of Franklin and Williamson County. The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in the heart of Music City is the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the music genres created, inspired or influenced by African Americans. Interactive exhibits allow guests to write a blues song, sing with a gospel choir, learn dances, do a rap battle and learn about jazz, blues, rap, pop and stories of renowned artists like Isaac Hayes, Beyonce, Rihanna, Prince and others. NMAAM is located in Fifth + Broadway, where travelers should also get a taste of Slim & Husky’s, an artisan pizza shop with a love for hip hop R&B culture. Here are ways to explore Black history in Nashville. Experience the story of Stax Records, one of the most famous recording studios in the world, through interactive exhibits, artifacts and hall of records at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The museum shares how creative individuals came together to write, record and produce some of the best soul music in Memphis. Separately, the Museum of Science & History (MoSH) has a new exhibit, Everyday People: Snapshots of the Black Experience, a photography journey showcasing Memphis artist Eric Echols’ photo collection of twentieth century African Americans and Black culture. From attractions to restaurants to local businesses, here are additional trip ideas to celebrate Black history in Memphis.The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner, was born in Nutbush, made famous with her hit song, “Nutbush City Limits.” Turner attended school in a one-room schoolhouse in Brownsville, one of the first schools built in the South for African Americans. Visitors to the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School, located on the grounds of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, explores the largest known collection of Tina memorabilia, costumes and stories. While visiting Brownsville, savor local favorite Black-owned business, Helen’s Bar BQ, where Helen Turner works as one of the few female pitmasters in the country. The childhood home of author Alex Haley, who wrote the groundbreaking novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, is located in Henning. “Roots,” which was made into a landmark TV miniseries in 1977, was inspired by family stories young Alex heard on the porch of his home. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Alex Haley Museum & Interpretive Center’s exhibits feature Haley’s work, childhood memorabilia and references to people who inspired the characters in “Roots.” Launching in February 2024, The Virtual Black History Month Tour in Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town, is an interactive, app-based tour starts at the Jonesborough Visitors Center and takes guests on a walk up East Main Street and down West Main Street. Along the way, guests stop at spots in town that are pivotal to the history of the Black community and to the history of Jonesborough.Visit and follow @TNvacation on social media for travel inspiration.
Black History Month in the Richmond Region Presents a Powerful Past and a Promising Present
Poignant art installations, thought-provoking exhibits, iconic landmarks, and culinary delights await travelers to the Richmond Region during Black History Month. With its deep-rooted Black history and flourishing Black culture, the Richmond Region is the ultimate destination to commemorate and celebrate the African American experience in unique, meaningful ways this February and throughout the year. The comprehensive resource to plan a trip and catch a vibe in the Richmond Region is BLK RVA, an initiative of Richmond Region Tourism created to highlight the area’s Black businesses, events, and attractions. BLK RVA is now entering its fifth year and recently garnered the attention of Travel Noire, a leading digital publication devoted to Black travelers. FEATURED EXPERIENCES: Dawoud Bey: Elegy | Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Now through February 25; Sculpting History: Art, Power, and the “Lost Cause” American Myth | The Valentine, Opening January 25; The Kemetic Collection | Ẹlẹgba Folklore Society, Opening February 2; Kick-Off Celebration | Virginia State University Gateway & Event Center, February 3; Visions of Progress | Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, Opening February 6; Black History Month Vendor Fair | Beulah Recreation Center, February 17; The Impending Crisis | American Civil War Museum, Opening February 17; Black History Month Programming | Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park, Various Dates in February; ART & MUSIC Mending Walls Murals: Discover stunning street art celebrating Black heroes and stories throughout the city of Richmond; Patrice Renee Washington, Tendril: View this solo exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art beginning February 16; The Tin Pan: Enjoy performances from several Black musicians at this intimate dinner theater. February’s schedule includes C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana BandOleta Adams; and Jason Webb & Phylicia Rae with special guest J. StatonThe Blues is Alright Tour: Experience a star-studded lineup of world-class Blues artists at Altria Theater; Artist Inspiration: Bisa Butler: Visit Bon Air Library and study the works of Bisa Butler, an award-winning African American textile artist known for her vibrant, larger-than-life quilted portraits. Create your own printed tote bag inspired by her work. HISTORY & CULTURE Forgotten Patriots: Virginia’s Black Continental Army Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolution: In this session at LaPrade Library, attendees will discover the roles Black Virginia men had in the American Revolution – roles that are still often overlooked but undoubtedly helped the ideas of the Revolution to take root; Richmond Slave Trail: Walk in the footsteps of enslaved people on this self-guided tour through historic landmarks; Jackson Ward Walking Tour: Discover the history and culture of this vibrant African-American neighborhood with a self-guided tour, or get a group together and embark on a guided tour with Jackson Ward native and historian, Gary Flowers; Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site: Learn about the life and achievements of the first Black woman to found a bank in the United States; Emancipation and Freedom Monument: Visit Brown’s Island to view this meaningful and poignant public art installation. FOOD & DRINK Mama J’s: Richmond’s classic soul food staple in Historic Jackson Ward since 2009; Ruby Scoops: Sample all-natural, handcrafted ice cream and sorbets made by Rabia Kamara, winner of Food Network’s Clash of the Cones competition in 2021; Farm + Oak: The latest offering from Richmond entrepreneur and chef Mike Lindsey, Farm + Oak brings the delightful flavors of Lindsey’s first restaurant venture, Lillie Pearl, to the West End of Henrico County. For more information on these and other events and activities, visit: BLK RVARichmond Region Tourism | Black History Museum & Cultural Center of VA. For more information, visit
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About This Newsletter
Multicultural Travel News newsletter (MTN) covers travel news of interest to ethnic and niche travelers and those who market to them. We write about destinations that interest multicultural travelers or have outreach campaigns to travelers of Hispanic, African American, Asian American and other cultural backgrounds; women; LGBT travelers and people with disabilities.

Multicultural Travel News is also written for leisure and business travelers looking for what to see and do and for marketing executives interested in ideas, best practices and the business case for targeting so-called “minority” travelers. We cover cities and countries, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, convention and visitor bureaus, tour operators and other travel marketers with a multicultural angle. Multicultural Travel News is written and edited by Lisa Skriloff.

Multicultural Travel News is published by Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc. (MMR). To view past editions click here.

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