Contact: Brittany Lesser
850.245.6522

Dr. Jane Landers to Speak on Black History of Spanish Florida

Tallahassee, FL –

Lectures at Mission San Luis and the Museum of Florida History

Dr. Jane Landers, Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, will be speaking on "Spanish Florida's Forgotten Black History" at Mission San Luis at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19, and on "Africans as Discoverers and Settlers in La Florida" at the Museum of Florida History at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 20. A question and answer session will follow the lectures. Parking and admission are free at both locations.

"During the month of February and beyond, the Florida Department of State is recognizing Black History Month through special events and programs," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner.  "We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Landers, a historian specializing in the history of Africans and their descendants in Colonial Latin America and the Atlantic World, to both Mission San Luis and the Museum of Florida History."

According to Dr. Landers, "The history of Africans in Florida began five hundred years ago, when the free West African, Juan Garrido, joined Juan Ponce de León’s 1513 exploratory expedition to Florida and free and enslaved Africans and their descendants have been an important part of Florida’s history ever since."

The Department of State is also leading a campaign to highlight Black History Month on social media. To find out more, follow the hashtag #FLBlackHistory on Twitter and Facebook.

Mission San Luis, Florida’s Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum, was the western capital of Spanish Florida from 1656 to 1704. Today, the Mission brings the early 1700s to life with living history interpreters in period dress, reconstructed period buildings, exhibits, and archaeological research. The site is managed by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research, and support is provided by the Friends of Mission San Luis, Inc.

Mission San Luis is located at 2100 West Tennessee Street, Tallahassee, Florida, Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Regular admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 65+, and $2 for ages 6-17. Children under 6, members, and active military get in FREE. For more information, call 850.245.6406 or visit missionsanluis.org.

The Museum of Florida History is part of the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, and is located in the R. A. Gray Building at 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida.  Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday and holidays, noon to 4:30 p.m.  Parking is available in the garage adjacent to the Museum and in nearby downtown garages.  For more information, call 850.245.6400 or visit museumoffloridahistory.com.

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