2014 Black History Month

Wanna Go In by Rose Jefferson

From the first free Africans that arrived to Florida's shores in 1513 to the struggles of slavery and segregation, there are many powerful stories and a rich history to be shared as we recognize Black History Month nationwide. In 2014, Florida is among many other states also commemorating the important 50 year anniversary of the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Through Viva Florida, the statewide, multi-year initiative to promote Florida's history and culture, there are many partners hosting events and activities around the state that educate, celebrate and remember the vital contributions of Florida's citizens of diverse backgrounds.

Explore black history with these events taking place around the state in February:

Rose Jefferson paintings

Exhibition of paintings by Rose Jefferson and Historic Photograph Display

Tallahassee, Through February 26

Two exhibitions on display in the lobby of the R.A. Gray Building will honor black history and the arts in Florida.

They led the Way Exhibition

They Led The Way Exhibit 

Tallahassee, Through February 28, 2014

They Led the Way at the Riley House museum in Tallahassee details the intimate portraits and oral histories of the first 8 students to integrate the Leon County public school system.

Kongo Across the Waters

Kongo Across the Waters

Gainesville, Through March 14, 2014

The Kongo across the Waters exhibition celebrates Kongo influenced cultural traditions primarily in the southeastern United States, including Florida, and commemorates 500 years since the first African conquistador, Juan Garrido, came to the Americas. Kongo across the Waters is a collaborative project by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium.


Journey: 450 Years of The African American Experience 

St. Augustine, Through July 15, 2014

An exhibit in St. Augustine documenting 450 years of African American Experiences in Florida and the United States, since the founding of St. Augustine in 1565. This state-of-the-art exhibition features authentic objects, original documents, powerful photographs and interactive elements that depict the journey African-Americans experienced from our country’s beginnings until today.

Flight to Freedom

Flight to Freedom 

St. Augustine, February 8, 2014

“Flight to Freedom” tells the story of courage, determination and perseverance along the perilous journey for Africans seeking freedom in Spanish Florida. Visitors walk along a trail towards Fort Mose and encounter Native Americans, a trapper turned bounty hunter, a Catholic priest and Captain Francisco Menendez, head of the African Militia and founding leader of Fort Mose. Food, music, weapons, artillery and cooking demonstrations will also be on-going throughout the day.

African American Life Historic Photo

Historic Photograph Identification Day - African American Life in Tallahassee

Tallahassee, February 18, 2014

The State Archives of Florida, in partnership with the John G. Riley House and Museum (RileyMuseum.org), will hold a photo identification day in room 307 of the R.A. Gray Building in Tallahassee.

3rd Thursday MFH logo

Museum of Florida History 3rd Thursday

Tallahassee, February 20, 2014

Dr. Jane Landers will discuss “Africans as Discoverers and Settlers in La Florida.” to illustrate the emergence of a blended and multiracial colonial society.

Museum of Florida history Logo

History at High Noon at the Museum of Florida History

Tallahassee, February 25, 2014

In honor of Black History Month, Dr. Will Guzman from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee will speak on the Civil Rights act of 1964.