FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 5, 2014
FLORIDA STATE PARKS RECOGNIZE BLACK HISTORY MONTH
~State Parks commemorate Black History Month with living history events and tours~
TALLAHASSEE – The
Florida Park Service joins Governor Rick Scott in commemorating Black History Month and recognizing
the many ways African Americans have enriched Florida’s communities, culture
month of February brings the celebration of Black History Month. As an
expansion from Black History Week, which started in 1926, Black History Month
was proposed by leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University
in 1969 and first celebrated a year later in February 1970. President Gerald R.
Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected
accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our
history.” Forty-five years later, Black History Month is being recognized nationwide.
state parks are proud to offer interpretative programs that highlight’s Florida
history,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “From art
exhibits and to living history reenactments to tours of the Cape Florida
lighthouse, visitors are invited to learn more at Florida’s state parks.”
us at Ravine Gardens
to celebrate African American artists from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 15. “The
Heart of Art” event will showcase visual and musical art along with historical
displays, live jazz, poetry readings and delectable desserts.
is full of tradition and history and Florida State Parks stay true to
commemorating these traditions. Fort Mose
Historic State Park
was the first legally sanctioned free African settlement site in the United
States. In 1738, the governor chartered the settlement as Fort Mose for those
fleeing slavery from the English colonies. For 25 years Fort Mose began a
sanctuary for Africans seeking liberation and freedom.
us from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 8 for 15-minute walks with living historians who
will tell the story of the journey to escape slavery. At 2 pm, Dr. James G.
Cusick, curator of the PK Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of
Florida, will present a lecture.
Rawlings Historic State Park once housed African Americans in small
tenant houses. Rawlings and friend Zora Neale Hurston would exchange letters
highlighting the changing racial relationships during Reconstruction in the
rural south. The park is open for tours of the homestead Thursdays through
Bill Baggs Cape
Florida State Park
stands as one of the earliest locations for the Underground Railroad. The
island served as a secret meeting place and port for runaway slaves and Black
Seminoles waiting to rendezvous with sea captains or board dugouts for a
passage to safety in the British Bahamas. Although the lighthouse was built to
save lives and ships, its unflinching light brought an end to this avenue of
escape. In September 2004, Cape Florida was designated a National Underground
Railroad Network to Freedom Site. Tours of the lighthouse are available twice
daily, Thursdays through Mondays.
a complete list of events being held at Florida’s state parks, visit this website.