"Journey" into the African-American Experience
Like many others, I grew up learning about Martin Luther King and Harriet Tubman in grade school. Little did I know when I first moved to Saint Augustine for college how much of the history from this time period actually happened here. I’m very interested in learning more about this part of history in our little town of Saint Augustine at the exhibit Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience.
Beyond the history of the more recent civil rights era, this exhibit goes back to 1565- a time when some of the first African-Americans were in fact free. I was surprised and slightly embarrassed to learn that I didn’t know that the first Africans to arrive in what is now the United States of America were not all slaves. Under Spanish ruling slavery was based off of religion rather than skin color, so some were free and some were not.
Broken into 4 themes, the exhibit is an exploration of African-American history with compelling images, actual documents, and authentic items. Although not limited to Saint Augustine’s role in history, much of the exhibit stems from here. The counter from a 1963 sit-in protesting segregation at a Saint Augustine Woolworth is on display along with various other artifacts that will really make you think. And with 2014 marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement, now is an excellent time to learn the history of this era.
I’m amazed by how much important history there is out there that is not common knowledge. The Journey exhibit is an opportunity to learn more about Saint Augustine and the major part it played in the civil rights movement and times prior. This is only the first part of Saint Augustine’s 450th Commemoration, celebrating the 450th anniversary of Saint Augustine while educating visitors and locals on the historical value in our town.
For more information and details about Journey please see our informational post.
Local St. Augustine blogger Meaghan Alvarado is a Flagler College graduate who writes on many topics ranging from fashion and food to crafts and local St. Augustine happenings. Check back here at Augustine.com regularly to see the great events and activities Meaghan will be writing about next, and check out her personal blog at http://justmeaghan.com/.
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