Fort Mose gave freedom to Africans who challenged enslavement

Fort Mose, the first Black settlement in North America founded in 1738

The 1740 Battle of Bloody Mose is reenacted annually at Fort Mose State Park

Emancipation Day Celebration in Lincolnville

The Lincolnville Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991

Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center is located in the heart of Lincolnville

Martin Luther King and Andrew Young were leaders in the Civil Rights Movement

Lyndon Baines Johnson met with Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights leaders

Andrew Young at the dedication of the Andrew Young Crossing in St. Augustine, 2012

St. Augustine’s Role in America’s Black History

From its earliest days through the turbulent 1960s, African-Americans have played key roles in the story of St. Augustine. 

First Settlers
Africans were among the explorers and soldiers who first discovered Florida, sailing with Ponce de Leon and Pedro Menendez – not as slaves, but as soldiers in the service of Spain.

First Free Black Settlement
In 1738, slaves fleeing from the British Carolinas and Georgia were granted their freedom by the Spanish who occupied St. Augustine. These former slaves found a home of their own at Fort Mose, where free men and their families formed a militia and the northern defense post for the nation’s oldest city. Fort Mose remains today a Florida State Park just north of the city.

The Lincolnville Historic District is St. Augustine's most prominent historically black neighborhood and is associated with many significant events in the city's African American history. Originally the site of orange groves and plantations, Lincolnville was established as a community by the Freedmen following the American Civil War.  It has been the heart of St. Augustine’s black community for generations. Today, Lincolnville’s' architectural heritage includes the highest concentration of Victorian-era buildings in St. Augustine.

The Civil Rights Movement
During the mid-20th century St. Augustine was the base for activists who worked to end racial segregation in schools and public facilities. National attention was focused on the city as the protest of black and white civil rights activists led peaceful demonstrations. 
In 1964, events in St. Augustine led by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Andrew Young were pivotal in the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

St. Augustine Black Heritage Tours offer free Historic Walking Tours focusing on Black history and the Civil Rights movement in St. Augustine.