2015 Black History Month

El Mundo es Mio by George Miller

In recognition of Black History Month in February 2015, the Florida Department of State and Viva Florida partners will host a number of opportunities to honor Florida’s black heritage and history in our state. Many of the activities planned this year focus on the vital and lesser understood role of Florida’s heroes and heroines of the Civil Rights Movement. The public is encouraged to engage in the conversation on social media using #FLBlackHistory and learn how Floridians impacted important historical decisions at the national level.

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

Exhibition of paintings by George Miller

Tallahassee, Through February 27

The display in the lobby of the R.A. Gray Building will honor black history and the arts in Florida with an exhibition of paintings by Florida’s featured Black History Month artist, George Miller.  Selected by Governor Rick Scott, George Miller from Jacksonville, Florida, uses his art to address issues such as literacy, dropout prevention, child abuse prevention and autism. A selection of his work will be shown from February 2 - 27, 2015.   This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Civil Rights in the Sunshine State

Tallahassee, Through April 5, 2015

The Museum of Florida History presents the special exhibit Civil Rights in the Sunshine State through April 5, 2015 in downtown Tallahassee. Through artifacts, videos, interactive elements, and narratives, visitors can explore the significant contributions Florida made to the state and national civil rights movement.

Special Tours of the Museum of Florida History: African- American

Tallahassee, Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Throughout February 2015

African American History Tours of the Museum To commemorate Black History Month, every Wednesday in February, the Museum will present guided tours of African American history in the Museum of Florida History. These are also available upon request throughout the month.

Alfred Hair- Royal Poinciana Tree

Special Tours of the Museum of Florida History: The Highwaymen

Tallahassee, Every Friday at 10 a.m. Throughout February 2015

Museum of Florida History has one of the largest collections of Highwaymen paintings on public display. Get a free guided tour every Friday

Middle Passage Ceremony and Port Marker Unveiling

St. Augustine, February 7, 2015

This ancestral remembrance ceremony at the Castillo de San Marcos at noon honors Africans who died in the transatlantic voyage known as the Middle Passage and the survivors who built the nation. The ceremony includes a multifaith readings and blessings as well as a historical presentation.  The ceremony precedes the unveiling of a Middle Passage Marker at Mission Nombre de Dios at 3 p.m.

Paving the Way - Florida Civil Rights Pioneers at the Museum of Florida History

Tallahassee, February 13, 2015, at 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Paul Ortiz of the University of Florida moderates a panel discussion of civil rights leaders. The panel includes John Due, who was a member of the legal team for activist Dr. Robert Hayling; the Reverend Henry Marion Steele, who was active in the Tallahassee movement; and Althemese Barnes, the executive director of the John G. Riley House Museum and founder of the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network. This event is free and open to the public.

Flight to Freedom 

St. Augustine, February 14, 2015

“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.

History at High Noon at the Museum of Florida History

Tallahassee, February 24, 2015, at 12 p.m.

Dr. Anthony Dixon, a national expert in the African diaspora, will discuss the history of the diaspora in Florida and sign copies of his new book. To learn more about History at High Noon, visit museumoffloridahistory.com. This event is free and open to the public.

Women in the Civil Rights Movement, at the Museum of Florida History

Tallahassee, Friday February 27, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

In preparation for Women’s History Month in March Dr. Paul Ortiz will moderate a discussion with three women about their experiences working with the civil rights movement. This event is free and open to the public.

Living Heritage Day at the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum

Delray Beach, Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 2 p.m.

Spady Living Heritage Day is a family-friendly street festival highlighting the history and heritage of Delray Beach’s African American community. The event will feature demonstrations of crafts from years past. Guests will also enjoy a Junkanoo parade, food, music, demonstrations, interactive recreation and live performances.