Black Freedom in Florida 1700 – 1865

Historical Museum of Southern Florida. Through Jan 2010.

Black Freedom in Florida 1700 – 1865 is essentially the precursor to the history we are examining in our temporary exhibition, Black Crossroads: The African Diaspora in Miami,” explains Joanne Hyppolite, Ph.D., Chief Curator at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. It examines how Florida functioned as a unique haven for freedom-seeking Blacks from the time period of 1700 to 1865.

The exhibition tells the story of how enslaved African Americans from the southern United States obtained freedom in Florida by running away to Spanish-occupied Florida, seeking refuge among free black and Seminole Indian communities and resisting re-enslavement through strategic military service and warfare both against and for the British, the Spanish and the Americans.  African-Americans’ ability to defy re-enslavement in Florida enabled them to develop free black communities such as Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose near St. Augustine and Angola in Tampa Bay which flourished during the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  On display are photographs, maps, military records and documentary research representative of these free black communities and their struggles to obtain and sustain their freedom throughout the international battles waged for the control of Florida during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Historical Museum of Southern Florida
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130

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