Explore St. Augustine's Black History
By Carrie McLaren
The city of St. Augustine commemorating its 450th anniversary in 2015 also is celebrating its African American heritage throughout the year with tours historic reenactments and ceremonies.
Here’s a look at how you can learn about St. Augustine's black history:
Through July don’t miss Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience at the St. Augustine Visitor Information Center featuring artifacts art video and more chronicaling the city’s history from its earliest days to the present. Families receive a passport at the exhibit leading them to important African-American exhibitions programs and sites around St. Augustine’s historic district many within walking distance of the information center.
Fort Mose Historical State Park is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in the United States. With living history exhibits storytelling and historical experts the park provides educational and fun ways for families to learn together.
Each Saturday throughout the year St. Augustine Black Heritage Tours Inc. offers a free historic walking tour at 4 p.m. Learn about St. Augustine's black history and events leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Tours depart from the Tour Saint Augustine headquarters and last about an hour. Space is limited and advance reservations are required.
A self-guided audio tour produced by The ACCORD Freedom Trail Project consists of 31 historic markers located at various sites significant to the St. Augustine civil rights movement. This tour offers visitors a unique way to tour the city at their own pace.
Insider Tip: Learn more about the city’s rich history by visiting the Civil Rights Library of St. Augustine online at civilrights.flagler.edu. Learn from historical materials documenting race relations from the 1960s. In partnership with Flagler College the community and the Andrew Young Foundation the library features historic interviews documents and photographs.