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 […]

Where Is Douglas C. Lyons Going With This ‘Florida Black Historic Marker Tour’ Now?

Mark your calendars. We’re coming up on the third stop of the “Florida Black Historic Marker Tour.” We’ve already visited Delray Beach and Rosewood. Where to next? Be here at www.blackinfla.com on Thursday, July 6th to see our next destination. Check out our trip through Florida’s Black History. You’ll enjoy the ride and might even learn something. […]

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 […]

Our First ‘Florida Black Historic Marker Tour’ Stop Is …

    By Douglas C. Lyons DELRAY BEACH — Welcome to South Florida and the ‘Village by the Sea,” the first stop of our summer  “Florida Black Historic Marker Tour.” The state of Florida has about 800 historic markers to honor homes, businesses and community landmarks that are a part of Sunshine State history. Many […]

1969 Band Protest Against ‘Dixie’ Brings Results for Black Students in Pensacola

“In the fall of 1969, the Escambia School Board chose Pensacola High School to host a football exhibition featuring the Pensacola Naval Air Station squad. The school band planned to play ‘Dixie’ as part of its ‘Fiesta of Flags’ halftime show, but several blacks who belonged to the ensemble objected to the song. The band […]

The Racist Origins of West Palm Beach, Fla.

“In May 1893, [Henry] Flagler broke ground on the Lake Worth side of Palm Beach for the six-story, Colonial-style Royal Poinciana Hotel. A workers’ slum sprouted immediately near the site to house the bulk of the one-thousand laborers thrown at the task. They dubbed their shantytown, The Styx — perhaps a reflection of their feeling […]

Florida Has the Blues

By Douglas C. Lyons Who would have thought the first published account of blues singing on a public stage took place in Florida? Hard to imagine with more popular musical venues like Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, not to mention the Mississippi Delta. However, Jacksonville grabbed a spot in music history with the performance of Professor […]

Gone Fishin’

“Electon officials in Ocoee planned a system of fraud that pa  ralleled the Jacksonville strategy: poll workers would challenge  black voters, who in turn would be forced to appear before the local notary public, R.C. Biegelow, and swear that they were registered voters. Whites in Ocoee later admitted that Biegelow was sent on fishing trips […]

Zora Neale Hurston Festival Kicks Off with a Look Back

  Historic Eatonville, Fla., opens its doors to all visitors and fans of Zora Neale Hurston on Saturday, January 21 with its Back in the Day: Reflections of Historic Eatonville. The event kicks off the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival. The start time is 6:p.m. at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts on […]

Before the Montgomery Bus Boycott …

  “In Jacksonville, after the city council in 1901 had passed a bill over the articulated opposition of the Negro community and its two Negro councilmen, colored people angrily stayed off the [street]cars in an attempt to pressure the mayor into vetoing the bill. This boycotting proved futile, as did a similar step by Pensacola […]