Two actors portraying servants from the past in the kitchen of the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum

Black History

St. Augustine has seen the African American experience from a very unique angle-from the first free black town to the final thrust for the Civil Rights Act. Racial struggles of the past have become dramatic victories of the present. In fact, some eyewitnesses of these events still live in St. Augustine today. Browse our stories and pictures. You're sure to find some interesting surprises.


African slave, Haitian revolutionary, Spanish general, and Florida's only black caudillo. When Jorge Biassou arrived in St. Augustine in 1796, he was already a legend in his own time.

Hailed as the 'father' of St. Augustine's Civil Rights Movement, Robert B. Hayling was a dentist, activist, and father. His dental office had the first integrated waiting room in the city.

In seven short weeks, Zora Neale Hurston wrote the most popular novel in African-American literature, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Her worldly travels brought her in and out of St. Augustine.