Cuban Migration Overwhelms Blacks in South Florida

“No less a friend of ‘the Negro’ than [Florida] Gov. Farris Bryant, LeRoy Collins’ successor and an unapologetic segregationist, conceded that the state had failed black Americans, especially when comparing black people’s experience to the sustained welcome granted Cubans. ‘I think the Negro people in Miami and surrounding areas who were being booted out of […]

Florida’s Grown Folks Black History Tour Honors Zora Neal Hurston

  By Douglas C. Lyons SAINT AUGUSTINE — The legendary Zora Neale Hurston and the town of Eatonville, are almost inseparable. Eatonville is  one of the nation’s oldest all-black townships and the literary, if not spiritual, home of Ms. Hurston. But, you won’t find a state historic marker erected in Ms.Hurston’s honor in the town […]

How Morehouse College Shaped This Floridian

      “Our manhood, and that of our fathers, was denied on all levels by white society, a fact insidiously expressed in the way black men were addressed. No matter what his age, whether he was in his burgeoning twenties or full of years, the black man was never referred to as ‘mister,’ nor […]

Florida’s ‘Grown Folks’ Black History Month Tour

Fourth in a series of Florida “Black” Historic Marker Destinations By Douglas C. Lyons ROSEWOOD — On January 1, 1923, this enclave of modest houses and small businesses in Levy County, came to an end. Today, the only reminder of its existence is a historic marker along State Road 24 just outside of Cedar Key. […]

Do You Remember That Fight in Miami Beach?

  This week — Sunday actually — 54 years ago, a young boxer from Louisville, Ky. made history in Miami Beach. Cassius Clay, a 7-1 underdog, beat then heavyweight champ Sonny Liston in a unanimous decision. The fight was among the most anticipated, watched and controversial matches in boxing. Few expected the upset. At the […]

Florida’s ‘Grown Folks’ Black History Month Tour

Third in a series of Florida “Black” Historic Marker Destinations By Douglas C. Lyons SAINT AUGUSTINE — The city’s Lincolnville neighborhood should be a ‘must’ stop on every visitors’ trip to America’s oldest city. It’s a picturesque section of town, located just south of the famed historic district. The fact that it is also Saint […]

Protests for Rights Occurred Long Before the Civil Rights Movement

    “Many years later, the people would stand up to water hoses and sheriff’s dogs to be treated as equal. But for now the people resisted in silent, everyday rebellions that would build up to a storm at midcentury. Rocks stuffed into cotton sacks in Mississippi at weighing time. The ‘Colored Only’ signs pulled […]

A Different Take on the Rosewood Massacre

    “The white press depicted Rosewood as a riot stemming from the familiar poisonous root of sexual assault, exacerbated by Negroes with guns. But the black press cast the fighters of Rosewood as heroes. The New York Age compared the incident to recent acts of self-defense in Chicago where ‘the Negro was not afraid […]

A Moment in ‘Future’ Florida History

By Douglas C. Lyons Wait! What? Gov. Rick Scott now wants the state Clemency Board to rewrite rules for restoring voting rights to convicted felons who have served their time and repaid their debt to society. Where was the governor’s zeal before a federal judge forced his hand? Before U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled that […]

Remembering a Florida Power Couple on Valentine’s Day

    By Douglas C. Lyons Here’s some Florida Black History that is appropriate to Valentine’s Day. It’s a love connection of some historic significance: the marriage of Abraham Lincoln Lewis and Mary Sammis. It was a very big deal in our state’s history. Lewis was born in 1865 and would grow up to become […]