Florida's Historic Coast is well-known for its rich Spanish and British history, but it's becoming even more recognized for its significant place in African American history. It spans centuries, from the arrival of black Spanish soldiers in the 16th century and the country's original Underground Railroad in the 1700s to the birthplace of the first African American college graduate in 1824 to historic protests and sit-ins by Black activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s, paving the way for the Civil Rights Act.
Florida's Historic Coast recognizes and celebrates our black heritage. Narrated tours, museums, historic sites, special events, concerts and self-guided walking tours provide opportunities to experience the rich history of the black experience in the Oldest City throughout the year.
Celebrate black art at various galleries in St. Augustine. The Ovico Gallery, a space dedicated to showcasing contemporary African Art, Photographer and fine artist Lenny Foster transcends history with his photography that tells the story of historical black figures through a modern lens. His One Forty Four Gallery is a catalog of sublime moments translated into film.
Lectures, cultural events and museums offer an array of activities, from lectures to historical reenactments, for an immersive experience. Fort Mose Historic State Park, the first free Black settlement in the United States, recognizes the brave souls who made the perilous journey to Spanish La Floride with Flight to Freedom.
The Lincolnville neighborhood is the epicenter of Black history in St. Augustine. Visitors interested in its history can visit the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center or walk the ACCORD Freedom Trail Project, which consists of 31 historic markers located at various sites significant to the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement.
Florida's Historic Coast is a playground for foodies looking for unique and delicious experiences. In the extensive culinary landscape, there are plenty of Black chefs making their mark on the food scene. Executive Chef Denzel Aponte creates exquisite seafood specialties at The Reef Restaurant; the menu of Prohibition Kitchen features Southern comfort and bar dishes with a twist, crafted by Executive Chef Lashunta Harris and her team.
Beloved local chef Tyrone Bennett is known for his philanthropy as much as his killer soul food at his food truck and brick and mortar, Heart and Soul Food Eatery. Growers Alliance Café and Gift Shop sources fair trade, pesticide-free coffee from around the world, serving a selection of beverages, whole beans and health baked goods. And don't miss the food trucks! Chef Ibrahim Mahem churns out delicious Tanzanian cuisine at his African Love Kitchen, while The T.R.E.N. in West Augustine, with chef Natalya Axen at the helm, delivers fried specialties and soul food classics.
Plan a trip to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches today and see why the road to freedom runs right through Florida's Historic Coast.