About Us


There’s a saying — and I personally take issue with it — that if you want to hide something from black people, put it in a book. I can’t think of anything so insulting, which prompted me to create this website, BlackinFla.com.

BlackinFla.com celebrates Florida’s rich black history and culture. The site will also serve as means of sharing some of the state’s many attributes from an unique perspective. In the process,  the hope is that the site helps its readers better understand the qualities that make the Sunshine State special.

My name is Doug Lyons. I arrived in Florida in 1994 in hopes of turning a gig as a newspaper editor into a springboard for a better job somewhere else. The idea  was to stick around for a few years and move on. Obviously, my plan didn’t work.

Looking South along Mizell-Johnson State Park Beach

Instead, I fell in love with Florida — its beauty, its diversity, its strangeness and its history, particularly the role blacks played in creating this unusual place.

How can you not marvel at a state that claims the likes of Mary McLeod Bethune, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson and A. Phillip Randolph? Or is home to the first Underground Railroad, the oasis of American Beach and the tragedy of Rosewood? The more I learned, and read, the more my appreciation grew. Following that history, took me to several spots that don’t receive the prominence that the state’s better known tourist attractions and many theme parks receive.

In short, there’s beauty among Florida’s backroads

I spend a lot of time with my nose in books and behind the wheel of my car. As a longtime journalist with more than 20 years of telling Florida stories, my goal is to take hidden treasure and make BlackinFla.com an entertaining and informative source of  black history. BlackinFla.com is part of Doug Lyons Communications, Inc., a site  where books, black history and travel converge.

I’d love to get your feedback and suggestions.