Deion Sanders Knows the Power of Dreams

“If your dream ain’t bigger than you, there’s a problem with your dream.” Deion Sanders, Major League Baseball and National Football League superstar, sports broadcaster and Florida native. The ‘So-What?! Significance: This is certainly not the day to doubt yourself. America was founded on a hardcore belief — a dream that became a world superpower. […]

Rosewood Marks the Second Stop of the ‘Florida Black Historic Marker Tour’

  By Douglas C. Lyons ROSEWOOD — Drive too fast and you’ll miss it. The name may exist on a map as a dot along State Road 24 just outside of Cedar Key. In real life, however, it’s a stretch of two-lane highway surrounded by fields. Off to the side is the historic marker that […]

Howard Thurman Learns Why the Sun Never Sets on the British Empire

  “At dinner one night, at a large university center, there was a discussion of colonialism and what it had brought by way of blessings to the country. A very beautiful young Indian woman, an instructor at a nearby college, whispered to me, ‘Dr. Thurman, do you know why the sun never sets on the […]

James Weldon Johnson Knew the Power of Being Young, Gifted and Black

“You are young, gifted and Black. We must begin to tell our young. There’s a world waiting for you. Yours is the quest that’s just begun.” James Weldon Johnson, author, civil rights, activist, composer, diplomat, educator and Florida native. The ‘So-What?!’ Significance: The words resonate. They did when James Weldon Johnson first uttered them. They […]

Florida’s Summer of Black Political Enthusiasm

“An awakening black interest in registration, voting and politics poured into this already complicated milieu in the summer of 1867. This was true in Alachua County as elsewhere in Florida, Josiah Walls soon found himself a new and rewarding career. In Alachua County, black registrants far exceeded whites, a result more of the conservative boycott […]

A. Phillip Randolph’s Chicken vs. Egg Concern of Freedom

  “Negroes must be free in order to be equal, and they must be equal in order to be free… Men cannot win freedom unless they win equality. They cannot win equality unless they win freedom.” A. Phillip Randolph, civil rights activist, labor union  leader and Florida native. The ‘So-What?!’ Significance: Today, black people are […]

Harry T. Moore’s ‘Plan B’ Lifted the Florida NAACP and Put the Moore’s in the History Books

  By Douglas C. Lyons “On May 27, 1946, the Budget Committee of the Florida NAACP mailed a letter to every important African American leader in Florida: ministers, educators, NAACP branch presidents and heads of businesses and fraternal orders. “It is common knowledge,” it began “that the steady growth [of the Florida NAACP] has been […]

Virgil Hawkins’ Sacrifice Opens the Door for Black Law Students in Florida

By Douglas C. Lyons On May 25, 1949, Virgil D. Hawkins filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida. His goal? Hawkins wanted to attend the University of Florida Law School, a school that barred blacks. Hawkins had waited a long time. He was 41 years old son of an Opahumpka preacher and a Bethune […]