nurse and two babies in leg braces in black and white
old house smokey hollow in black and white
planes at airfield in black and white

WFSU Presents
29 Days of Black History

A review of the people, places, issues and moments that have shaped the African-American experience in Florida and beyond.

As we celebrate Black History Month, WFSU Public Media will feature a story a day, covering the important role African-Americans have had in shaping the state’s culture. Join us as we explore the richness and cultural legacy of the black experience in Florida and beyond.

From the vibrancy and longevity of Florida’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to the hidden stories behind some of the state’s most popular destinations, we look at how far the our region has come in recognizing the contributions of African-Americans and examine the work still left to be done.

painting of syrup farmers

The Stories

Come back each day in February for a new story.

Tom Flannigan smiling at the camera

Perspectives: Undiscovered Black History
Feb. 18, 2019

Tallahassee has many sites of significance to African-American history and the struggle for equal rights. But many more such locations may yet to be properly preserved, or at least acknowledged.

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A man with a red Ground Penetrating Radar device

Tallahassee’s Lost Cemetery
Jan. 7, 2020

Across Florida, long-forgotten cemeteries are being rediscovered, in some cases centuries after being lost to development. One was recently found in Tallahassee.

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A man petting a crocodile

Florida Crossroads: Paradise Park

Prior to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Florida’s major tourist attractions were for whites only, which meant blacks had to find separate recreation areas such as Paradise Park along the Silver River near Ocala.

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MLK sitting at a table with a bunch of people around him

Father of Civil Rights
May 14, 2014

There are now three new inductees in the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame. They range from the author of the Black National Anthem to another who is hailed as the "father of St. Augustine’s civil rights movement."

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Maya Angelou in front of a microphone

Maya Angelou’s Passing
May 28, 2014

Legendary poet and activist Maya Angelou died Wednesday, but three years ago Tallahassee played host to the famed writer for an evening of song and lecture at Florida A&M University.

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Aerial shot of the Dale Mabry Air Field

Tuskegee Airmen and The Tallahassee Connection
Feb. 20, 2015

How hard is it to find 1,720 acres of history in Tallahassee? It’s pretty hard if what you’re looking for is the Dale Mabry Air Field.

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Lietuenant Colonel George Hardy speaking at a podium

Tuskegee Airmen Talks at FAMU
Jan. 18, 2019

Lieutenant Colonel George Hardy is the youngest member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Thursday, he spoke at Florida A&M University. The discussion focused on racial segregation and what took place shortly after it was outlawed.

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Someone pointing at an old photograph

Florida Crossroads: Ghosts of Groveland
Sept. 27, 2019

Death, pain, and heartache followed four African American families for generations after four men were accused of raping a white teenager in Groveland in 1949. 70 years later came a pardon for this "crime" and peace for a new generation as new evidence comes to light.

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FAMU Hospital. One black and white picture and one colored picture.

FAMU Hospital Closure
Nov. 21, 2019

With the passing of the civil rights act in 1964, integration has been repeatedly used as a reason to close historically black Institutions. This story explores how the creation and closing of one African American hospital on the Florida A & M Campus impacted a local community.

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The front of a barbershop

Barbershop Memories
Nov. 8, 2018

Smokey Hollow was an African-American community a few blocks east of the state capitol building, existing from reconstruction through the days of segregation. Urban renewal brought the demise of the neighborhood in the 1960s.

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A group of 9 children posing for a picture

Smokey Hollow
Sept. 26, 2019

As an old neighborhood in Tallahassee is being demolished to extend a new road called FAMU Way, some call the changes progress. It’s the latest effort to make improvements to a poor area of the city near the historically black Florida A&M University.

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An old styled home on fire in a blck and white picture.

Dec. 6, 2016

In 1923, a white mob stormed the small, prosperous African American community of Rosewood, near Florida’s Gulf Coast. Fueled by racial resentment, the mob terrorized the black residents, before burning the town to the ground.

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A picture of a signed football

Legacy of Jake Gaither
Jan. 18, 2018

After purchasing a wrecked house for back taxes, FAMU Alumnus Cornelius Jones stumbles upon what was once football legend Jake Gaither’s house. Delve into the legacy Gaither left behind and how he was a hero to the Tallahassee community.

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Jake Gaither holding a football

Jake Gaither Documentary
Dec. 2, 2019

November 29th marked 50 years since the first time a black school and white school in the south faced off on the football field. The matchup featured Florida A&M University and the University of Tampa. Now, a documentary about the life of FAMUs legendary football coach Jake Gaither is in the works.

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Painting Life on a Red Hills Tenant Farm
Apr. 14, 2016

For an artist, it’s a challenge trying to recreate scenes of a bygone past, especially when there aren’t always photos or other imagery. When artist Euluster Richardson was commissioned to paint these scenes for the Jones Tenant House at Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, he did have one thing going for him. He lived them.

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Cycling Monticello’s Historic Canopy Roads
Apr. 13, 2016

Disappointed at being uprooted from Hanes City, Florida, the Byrd siblings soon discovered Lake Miccosukee, Ward Creek, and forests in which to play. Those Monticello woods and waterways fed them with ducks, geese, quail, wild turkey, and, as we see in the video, coot that would fall off the bone. In her book, Echoes of a Quieter Time, Flossie Byrd fondly remembers that “A number of the women were excellent cooks who could prepare ‘coons ‘n possums’ that were a ‘gourmet’s delight.'”

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The Jack Hadley Black History Museum
Feb. 8, 2010

This is the Jack Hadley Black History Museum in Thomasville, Georgia. You'll see the local heroes like Henry Flipper, who was born a slave in Thomasville and went on to be the first black West Point graduate and a Buffalo Soldier. You'll also get some slice of life exhibits that give you a good look at going to high school during segregation, or growing up on a plantation.

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HBCU Profiles: From Music To Flight Florida Memorial University Shines
Jan. 25, 2018

In the final part of our series on historically black colleges and universities, we take a look at the state’s Southern-most HBCU, Florida Memorial University

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HBCU Profiles: The Story Behind Edward Waters College's Graduation Rates
Jan. 24, 2018

After being the only option for black students for decades, some historically black colleges and universities are struggling. Falling enrollment numbers and dwindling resources are challenging schools that want educate a diverse student body. In WFSU's series on Florida's HBCUs, here's a look at the status of Edward Waters College, the state’s oldest historically black college.

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HBCU Profiles: The Florida A&M University 'FAMU-ly'
Jan. 23, 2018

When it comes to picking the perfect college, there’s the question of what to look for? Is it programs? Campus clubs? Atmosphere? Or is it just a raw feeling? As part of the HBCU Profiles Series, we take a look at Florida A&M University—and how some say, it called them home.

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HBCU Profiles: Bethune Cookman University
Jan. 22, 2018

Of Florida’s four historically black colleges and universities, only Bethune Cookman University was founded in the early 1900s and named after an African American woman. In the first part of our “HBCU Profiles” series, we'll take a look at the past, present, and future of B-CU.

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HBCU Rising
Jan. 26, 2018

A haven for Black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries—and path of promise toward the American dream—Black colleges and universities have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field. They have been unapologetically Black for more than 150 years. For the first time ever, their story is told.

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As Florida Schools Resegregate, Here's A Look Back At Desegregation Fifty Years Ago
Feb. 14, 2018

Florida’s student body has never been more diverse. But the state’s schools are also becoming more segregated. A recent study by the LeRoy Collins Foundation shows a marked increase in intensely segregated schools, spurred by demographic changes and the rise of private and charter academies. To understand why these changes are happening, WFSU looked back at Florida’s attempts at integration.

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Perspectives: Desegregation of Leon County Schools
Aug. 31, 2017

It’s been 50 years since the last segregated Leon County public school closed its doors (the old all-black Lincoln High School in Frenchtown). How did school integration take place in Florida’s Capital City and what has changed since then?

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Voices From the Past Will Help Tell Frenchtown's Story
Oct. 8, 2019

One of Tallahassee’s oldest neighborhoods will soon be telling its story through the voices of its most prominent residents, even though they are no longer alive.

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Florida Crossroads: Wounds of Dozier
Dec. 18, 2017

In 2007, dozens of men started telling stories publicly of brutal beatings and abuse when they were children in the 50’s and 60’s at a state reform school in Marianna. What followed was the excavation of bodies from the school cemetery to see how boys there really died. Florida Crossroads explores what anthropologists from the University of South Florida found six feet under.

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Florida Crossroads: Paradise Lost - Florida’s Segregated Beaches and Parks
Sept. 29, 2014

Not long ago, the signs of the segregated South- “White Only” and “Colored Only” -applied to just about every aspect of life. Florida’s world famous seashores, riverbanks and lakeside properties were not exempt. While they were never “separate but equal”, the colored beaches and parks throughout the state were scenic and served as an oasis in a world of oppression and racism.

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Florida Crossroads: Florida Remembers - The 1964 Civil Rights Act
Sept. 22, 2014

Some Floridians were directly impacted by efforts to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minority groups. In the 1950’s many “foot soldiers”, as they were called, risked their careers and their lives to open the door to social and political change. As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Florida Channel remembers a few of the people, places, and protests at the center of the Civil Rights Movement in Florida.

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Using video clips from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, this collection of lesson plans addresses a wide range of themes of the African-American experience from 1500 to the present.

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