Flight to Freedom reenactment

Fort Mose gave freedom to Africans who challenged enslavement.

Fort Mose

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

Soldiers at Fort Mose

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

Emancipation Day Celebration in Lincolnville

Emancipation Day Celebration in Lincolnville.

Historic marker in Lincolnville

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

Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center

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

Andrew Young & Martin Luther King

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

Lyndon Johnson meets Civil Rights leaders

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

Viva Florida 500 Summit

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

Flight to Freedom reenactment
Fort Mose
Soldiers at Fort Mose
Emancipation Day Celebration in Lincolnville
Historic marker in Lincolnville
Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center
Andrew Young & Martin Luther King
Lyndon Johnson meets Civil Rights leaders
Viva Florida 500 Summit

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. 

Each year, Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorations in St. Augustine include a breakfast and silent march. Along with the city's signiciant role in the Civil Rights movement, St. Augustine's long history includes free Africans as original settlers and defenders of the Nation's Oldest City. Explore St. Augustine's African-American history preserved in historic neighborhoods, tours, parks and attractions.

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. Today, Fort Mose remains a Florida State Park just north of the city.

Lincolnville

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.

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.