Explore centuries of freedom struggles, political development, community histories, and cultural achievements in this list of our books on the African American heritage of Florida. Including the eras of slavery, segregation, and civil rights, these books delve into both pivotal moments and daily life from throughout the Black history of the state.

carls001_500x500Africa in Florida: Five Hundred Years of African Presence in the Sunshine State
Edited by Amanda B. Carlson and Robin Poynor

This collection of essays and art explores how Florida both shapes and is shaped by the multiple African diasporas that move through it.

01102018193531_500x500The African American Heritage of Florida
Edited by David R. Colburn and Jane L. Landers

These twelve essays examine the rich and substantial African American heritage of Florida from the colonial era to the late twentieth century.

The digital version of this book is available for free as part of our Florida and the Caribbean Open Books Series. Read it here.

Gordon_Ortiz_front_coverAfrican American Studies: 50 Years at the University of Florida
Edited by Jacob U’Mofe Gordon and Paul Ortiz

This book provides an impactful overview of the history of African American Studies at the University of Florida. It also contains testimonies from community elders and reflections by and about prominent UF alumni.

02112020172247_500x500Alfred Hair: Heart of the Highwaymen
Gary Monroe

This brilliantly illustrated book is a long-awaited testament to the life and work of Highwayman painter Alfred Hair.

phelts97_500x500An American Beach for African Americans
Marsha Dean Phelts

Marsha Dean Phelts reconstructs the character and traditions of American Beach, a 200-acre African American community on Amelia Island, Florida.

phelts08_500x500The American Beach Cookbook
Marsha Dean Phelts

This book collects nearly 300 recipes that have been passed down through generations in the American Beach community.

08102017193008_500x500Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley: African Princess, Florida Slave, Plantation Slaveowner
Daniel L. Schafer
Revised and Expanded Edition

Captured from her homeland of Senegal in 1806, Anna Kingsley became first an American slave, later a slaveowner, and eventually a central figure in a free Black community.

dunnxf97_500x500Black Miami in the Twentieth Century
Marvin Dunn

Firsthand accounts and over 130 photographs, many of them never published before, bring to life the proud heritage of Miami’s Black community.

portef96_500x500The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People
Kenneth W. Porter
Edited by Alcione M. Amos and Thomas P. Senter

“This fascinating story chronicles the lives of fugitive slaves who aligned themselves with Seminole Indians in Florida beginning in the early 1800s, fought with them in the Second Seminole War, and were removed, along with them to Indian Territory, where they struggled to remain free.”—Library Journal

Crossing the Creek: The Literary Friendship of Zora Neale Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Anna Lillios

This book examines one of the twentieth century’s most intriguing and complicated literary friendships.

hobbs001_500x500Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida
Tameka Bradley Hobbs

Focusing on a rash of anti-Black violence that took place during the 1940s, Tameka Hobbs explores the reasons why lynchings continued in Florida when they were starting to wane elsewhere.

05242017193910_500x500Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band
John Capouya

Born in the era of segregation with origins in gospel, rhythm and blues, and jazz and reaching maturity during the civil rights movement, soul music left an an important cultural legacy in Florida.

For-a-Great-and-Grand-PurposeFor a Great and Grand Purpose: The Beginnings of the AMEZ Church in Florida, 1864–1905
Canter Brown, Jr., and Larry E. Rivers

This history of one of the oldest and most prominent Black religious institutions tells how dedicated members created a forceful presence within the African-American community in Florida after the Civil War.

deagaf95_500x500Fort Mose: Colonial America’s Black Fortress of Freedom
Kathleen Deagan and Darcie MacMahon

Challenging the notion of the American Black colonial experience as only that of slavery, this book tells the story of Fort Mose, located near St. Augustine, Florida—the first legally sanctioned free Black community in what is now the United States.

monros07_500x500-1Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman
Gary Monroe

“An excellent, beautifully illustrated introduction to a dynamic painter that sparks the viewer’s interest in Newton and his fellow highwaymen, all of whom created against the backdrop of Jim Crow.”—Publishers Weekly

monrof01_500x500The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters
Gary Monroe

The story of a group of African American landscape painters active in the ’60s and ’70s who have only recently come to be recognized for their distinctive vision and craft.

monro006_500x500The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams
Gary Monroe

This book showcases murals painted in the Central Florida Reception Center by Highwayman painter Al Black, providing the only record of these images available to the public.

parkef99_500x500Idella Parker: From Reddick to Cross Creek
Idella Parker with Bud and Liz Crussell

This illustrated memoir tells the story of the years before and after Idella Parker worked a as cook, housekeeper, and confidante to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

11132017153008_500x500Josiah Walls: Florida’s Black Congressman of Reconstruction
Peter D. Klingman

Josiah Walls was one of Reconstruction’s leading Black politicians and Florida’s most important Black politician of the nineteenth century.

The digital version of this book is available for free as part of our Florida and the Caribbean Open Books Series. Read it here.

masse001_500x500The Life and Crimes of Railroad Bill: Legendary African American Desperado
Larry L. Massey

Larry Massey separates fact from myth and teases out elusive truths from tall tales to reveal the true story of America’s most infamous Black outlaw.

mille007_500x500The Maroons of Prospect Bluff and Their Quest for Freedom in the Atlantic World
Nathaniel Millett

The story of a maroon community that developed after the War of 1812 at a fort erected at Prospect Bluff in the Florida panhandle.

monro008_500x500Mary Ann Carroll: First Lady of the Highwaymen
Gary Monroe

The never-before-told story of a Black female artist’s hard-fought journey to make a name for herself in a white man’s world.

Maximum_Vantage_RGBMaximum Vantage: New Selected Columns
Bill Maxwell

In this collection of columns spanning the years 2000-2019, veteran journalist Bill Maxwell tackles important issues faced by Florida and broader American society that remain as relevant as ever today.

Available in November 2022

greens02_500x500More Than Black: Afro-Cubans in Tampa
Susan D. Greenbaum

This engaging ethnography follows Cuban exiles to the Jim Crow South in Tampa, Florida, as they shape an Afro-Cuban-American identity over a span of five generations.

griff004_500x500The Odyssey of an African Slave
Edited by Patricia C. Griffin

This remarkable first-person narrative traces the life of Sitiki, who was born in Africa and died, a free man, in St. Augustine.

07082019193250_500x500The Public Health Nurses of Jim Crow Florida
Christine Ardalan

This book tells the story of long-unacknowledged healthcare workers who battled racism in a state where white supremacy formed the bedrock of society.

colbuf91_500x500Racial Change and Community Crisis: St. Augustine, Florida, 1877-1980
David R. Colburn

In 1964, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference staged demonstrations in St. Augustine that they hoped would pressure the U.S. Congress into passing civil rights legislation. Extremists responded with some of the ugliest racial violence the nation has witnessed.

vicke004_500x500Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs
Lu Vickers and Cynthia Wilson-Graham

Full of vivid photographs and advertisements, this book portrays a place of delight and leisure during the painful era of Jim Crow.

04182018124519_500x500The Rosewood Massacre: An Archaeology and History of Intersectional Violence
Edward González-Tennant

This study investigates the 1923 massacre that devastated the predominantly African American community of Rosewood, Florida.

12032018150108_500x500The Silencing of Ruby McCollum: Race, Class, and Gender in the South
Tammy Evans

This book refutes the carefully constructed public memory of one of the most famous biracial murders in American history.

02072022175549_500x500Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation
Larry Eugene Rivers

Slavery in Florida is built upon research into virtually every source available on the subject—a wealth of historic documents, personal papers, slave testimonies, and census and newspaper reports.

cassa003_500x500To Render Invisible: Jim Crow and Public Life in New South Jacksonville
Robert Cassanello

This book explores the tumultuous emergence of the African American working class in Jacksonville from Reconstruction to the 1920s.

To_tell_a_black_story_of_miami_RGBTo Tell a Black Story of Miami
Tatiana D. McInnis

This book examines literary and cultural representations of Miami alongside the city’s material realities to challenge the image of South Florida as a diverse cosmopolitan paradise.

Available in December 2022

bushx002_500x500White Sand Black Beach: Civil Rights, Public Space, and Miami’s Virginia Key
Gregory W. Bush

The story of Virginia Key, a historically important beach for Miami’s African American community.

moylaf06_500x500Zora Neale Hurston’s Final Decade
Virginia Lynn Moylan

“This examination of the last ten years in the life of a bold, brilliant, accomplished anthropologist, political essayist, folklorist, and author is educational and tragic.”—Journal of Folklore Research

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