Secretary of State encourages Floridians to celebrate Black History Month in February

Posted 2/7/22

Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee encourages Floridians to celebrate Black History Month, which is observed during the month of February.

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Secretary of State encourages Floridians to celebrate Black History Month in February

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TALLAHASSEE — Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee encourages Floridians to celebrate Black History Month, which is observed during the month of February to commemorate the contributions that African Americans have made to American History.

“Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to learn about and celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made to Florida’s history and culture,” said Secretary Lee. “By understanding the impact African Americans have had on our state, we can deepen our understanding of our nation’s history as well.”

In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson began officially commemorating African American history during an annual week of remembrance. Woodson promoted the observance of African American History Week during the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Woodson was one of the first academically trained African American historians in the United States. Through his efforts to celebrate and study the nation’s African American heritage, February is now officially designated as Black History Month.

During the month of February, the Florida Department of State will host multiple events and opportunities that will allow participation in activities and programs that celebrate Black History Month. These events will culminate with our signature Black History Month Artist Celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at the Historic Brokaw-McDougall House. For more information visit the Black History Month celebration website at: https://dos.myflorida.com/initiatives/BlackHistoryMonth2022.

Signature Event: February 23, 2022 -- Florida Division of Arts and Culture, Black History Month Artist Celebration
Join the Florida Division of Arts and Culture at the historic Brokaw-McDougall House for an exciting evening celebrating Black artists and their impact on Florida’s history and culture. The event will feature musical artists Avis Berry Jazz Trio and Singer/Poet Dahliah Perryman as well as painter Richard Edwards, 2nd generation Highwaymen and Historian. The FAMU Concert Choir will also perform, and food and art vendors will be on-site to round out this creative, immersive experience!

Listing of Events:

Division of Arts and Culture, 22nd Floor Gallery, The Capitol: Artwork by Kelvin Hair
Kelvin Hair was born in Vero Beach, Florida. Hair is a retired Lieutenant and 23-year veteran of the Saint Lucie Co. Fire Dept. Kelvin’s dad (the original Florida Highwayman Alfred Hair) first introduced him to art when he was a toddler. Although Kelvin’s father passed away before Kelvin was old enough to be fundamentally proficient in the craft, Kelvin had a rooted desire for art that manifested itself as early as middle school where Kelvin would draw constantly and even used the walls of his bedroom as a canvas to create original works of art fueled by bold imagination. His vision, expressiveness, imagination, and artist integrity are clear in his work. This exhibit will be on display through Black History Month.

Division of Arts and Culture, Gallery for Innovation and the Arts, R.A. Gray Building: Artwork by Chris and Neil Barnhart
A closer look at Christopher Barnhart‘s razor etched artwork reveals a glimpse of the Florida-based artist’s sharp creative skills. His artwork is meticulously detailed and carefully etched to precision using multiple razor blades instead of brushes. Chris was inspired to create artwork by his father, Neil Barnhart, an untrained but prolific artist from Monticello, Florida. Their artwork appears side by side in this inspiring exhibition that celebrates the importance of family, culture, and black history. This exhibit will be on display through Black History Month.

The Grove Museum, guided tours
During the month of February, The Grove Museum offers guided tours on slavery and civil rights in American History. The grounds are open Wednesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The House is open Wednesday – Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

February 12, 2022
Museum of Florida History, second Saturday, Paint with Me: Florida Highwaymen Artists
Celebrate the creativity, dedication, and skill of the Florida artists collectively known as the Highwaymen through a tour of their iconic paintings! Visitors will learn about the Highwaymen, a group of African American artists who traveled across Florida and painted what inspired them most: Florida landscapes. After learning about the Highwaymen, visitors will be able to create their own paintings.

February 18, 2022
Museum of Florida History, Spirits of the Passage: The story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade exhibit
The exhibit, produced by and on loan from the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, explores the origins of the slave trade and its lasting impact on American history.

The exhibit features more than 125 artifacts recovered primarily from the Henrietta Marie, an English slaving vessel that sunk off the Florida Keys in 1700. Starting in West Africa, the exhibit traces the slave trade from its origins in antiquity to its expansion and evolution during the colonization of the Americas by European nations.

February 22, 2022
Museum of Florida History, History at High Noon: The History of Prospect Bluff
Prospect Bluff is the site of two historic fortifications. One is the well-documented American Fort Gadsden. The other was an earlier but more historically significant British fort which came to be known as Negro Fort. Built in 1814, during the War of 1812, the withdrawing British left the fort in control a group of soldiers largely made up of free Blacks and fugitive slaves. The fort was destroyed in 1816 by American forces. Recent research and archaeological excavations at the site continue to advance the understanding of the significance of the community that developed at the fort.

February 23, 2022
Florida Division of Arts and Culture, Black History Month Artist Celebration
Join the Florida Division of Arts and Culture at the historic Brokaw-McDougall House for an exciting evening celebrating Black artists and their impact on Florida’s history and culture. The event will feature musical artists Avis Berry Jazz Trio and Singer/Poet Dahliah Perryman as well as painter Richard Edwards, second-generation Highwaymen and Historian. The FAMU Concert Choir will also perform, and food and arts vendors will be on-site to round out this creative, immersive experience!

February 28, 2022
Division of Library and Information Services, Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the Lived Experiences of Black Floridians in the 1800s
The Division of Library and Information Services and in partnership with the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, will host “Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the Lived Experiences of Black Floridians in the 1800s” on Monday, Feb. 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the R. A. Gray Building in Tallahassee, in observance of Black History Month. This public event will feature a presentation and a display of original historical documents from the State Archives of Florida and the State Library of Florida.

For more information visit the Black History Month celebration website at: https://dos.myflorida.com/initiatives/BlackHistoryMonth2022.

To learn more about Black History Month, explore these additional resources available from the Florida Department of State.

Resources for Students and Educators, Florida Memory
The History of Black Health and Wellness, Division of Library and Information Services
The Civil Rights Movement in Florida, Florida Memory
Black Heritage Trail Guide, Division of Historical Resources

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