Luxetips Events! Celebrate Black History Month In Beautiful St. Augustine, FL!
Love is beautiful!
As you Divas know from my previous article on St. Augustine, FL, it is one of best places I ever visited. The history is so rich! Of course it is not surprising the city also has a rich African-American history as well.
St.Augustine is the home to some of the first free blacks to live in America. Yes there were blacks that came to the new world who were not slaves! They owned businesses and developed their own community in St. Augustine, FL called Lincolnville.
Also St. Augustine, FL was on the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. It is the place of one of the very first sit-ins. This sit-in has been memorialized at the new Museum of African-American history in Washington, DC.
Iconic civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young marched in St. Augustine and we’re jailed for their efforts.
So it is no surprise that St. Augustine, Fl celebrates Black History Month in a huge way! The are events happening almost everyday to celebrate the rich history of African-Americans.
if you are in or near St. Augustine in the next few days, here are some events that are a must!
February 22: Black History Month Special at the Corazon Cinema and Cafe
Lee Weaver, St. Augustine’s own actor/playwright, presents The Witness about the Civil Rights struggle in America, especially in St. Augustine. This events takes place at the Corazon Cinema and Cafe at 7 p.m. Admission is $20. 36 Granada St., St. Augustine 904-679-5736 www.corazoncinemaandcafe.com
February 25: An Evening with Mavis Staples at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall proudly welcomes Gospel and Soul legend Mavis Staples to the stage. Staples is living, breathing history. She is an alchemist of American music, having continuously crossed genre lines like no musician since Ray Charles. Weaving herself into the very fabric of gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock and hip hop. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the performance is at 8 p.m. Admission is $78.50 and $68.50. 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach 904-209-0367 www.pvconcerthall.com
Here are more ways to celebrate the African-American History Heritage and Civil Rights every day on Florida’s Historic Coast every day
Sit quietly in the natural preserve that is Fort Mose State Park where people from different countries came together as equals in a shared cause – freedom in a land of their own. In 1738, slaves fleeing from the British were granted their freedom by the Spanish who occupied St. Augustine. In exchange for converting to Catholicism and pledging to join the Spanish in defending the territory from their enemies, these former slaves found a home of their own. That settlement was Fort Mose, where free men and their families formed a militia and the northern defense post for the nation’s oldest city.
Actually, freedom in St. Augustine goes back even further for African-Americans. Africans were among the explorers and soldiers who first discovered Florida, sailing with Ponce de Leon and Pedro Menendez – not as slaves, but as soldiers in the service of Spain.
Fort Mose is located at 15 Fort Mose Trail, less than 5 minutes from the historical attractions, restaurants and shopping of the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine.
The Civil Rights Movement and St. Augustine
St. Augustine played a pivotal role in the nation’s Civil Rights movement. On June 9, 1964, Civil Rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in St. Augustine during a protest for human rights. Alongside King was Andrew Young. Young led a night march from Lincolnville to the Constitution Plaza where he was met with violent opposition. Young and his group of demonstrators were beaten by a white mob of 300 armed men who had waited for the marchers to arrive. The activists, being true to Dr. King’s non-violent strategy, walked away injured, many taken to area hospitals.
Walk in the footsteps of Dr. Andrew Young through the city’s plaza, a place where Dr. Young peacefully marched before being struck down in the street. True to Dr. King’s non-violent strategy, these brass footsteps embedded in the plaza sidewalk honor Young’s walk in protest. This video includes an interview with Dr. Young and explains the making of the Dr. Andrew Young Crossing memorial in St. Augustine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp83EJ2NXiQ
Also located in the plaza, the Foot Soldiers Monument is a 675 lb. monument featuring four life-size busts representative of the foot soldiers that engaged in peaceful protests in St. Augustine in the early 1960’s. http://www.brianowensart.com/stAugBronze.html
St. Augustine Civil Rights Library
In 2013, Flagler College launched the Civil Rights Library (www.CivilRightsLibrary.com), an extensive online archive that was the culmination of years of research and collaboration between faculty, students, historians and people who lived in and visited St. Augustine during the tumultuous times of the civil rights movement. The student-led project features never before seen items including FBI files detailing Martin Luther King Jr.’s time in St. Augustine, as well as the surveillance the city was under both before and after MLK arrived. Other items include details on the arrest of the St. Augustine Four, audio of Jackie Robinson’s visit, and civil rights archives from Andrew Young.
Accord Freedom Trail
The ACCORD Freedom Trail Project consists of 31 historic markers located at various sites significant to the St. Augustine Civil rights movement. A cell phone audio tour is available by calling 904-335-3002. Learn more at www.accordfreedomtrail.org.
African Americans in Sports
Explore the World Golf Hall of Fame “Honoring the Legacy” exhibit that celebrates African- Americans in golf. This exhibition contains rare photographs, audio, video and memorabilia to highlight the long, rich history of African-Americans in golf starting with pioneers from the late 1800s through today’s game. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a sculpture designed by the renowned artist Mario Chiodo which celebrates 13 African-American golf legends and represents an historic timeline of African-Americans in golf. For more about this special exhibit visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org
By Appointment: ACCORD Civil Rights Museum
Discover St. Augustine’s role in the struggle for Civil Rights and the city’s pivotal influence in the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Housed in the former offices of Dr. Robert Hayling, a local dentist who was instrumental in getting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to personally participate in the efforts to desegregate the Oldest City, the museum features numerous artifacts and documents relating to the local Civil Rights movement. Admission is by appointment only. Contact Liz Duncan at 904-347-1382. Admission is free (donations accepted). 79 Bridge St., St. Augustine. www.AccordFreedomTrail.org