UWF in the Community

Voices of Pensacola hosts new exhibit covering African American history

A new exhibit open now at the Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Center in downtown Pensacola allows visitors to explore and teach the untaught history of America beginning in 1619 with the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia, on board a Dutch slave ship.

“Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” was originally curated by the storied New York Historical Society Museum & Library as an eight-poster exhibit covering the period of American history when Jim Crow laws were in effect. With permission from the New York Historical Society and support from the University of West Florida Historic Trust, Dr. Cheryl Howard, president, CEO and co-founder of the African American Heritage Society, augmented the exhibit with 16 additional posters. The posters cover a significantly larger period beginning with the continent of Africa and continuing to the present, including current events, which are credited as the catalyst for the present social justice awakening.

“This feels like a dream come true,” Howard said. “I have wanted the opportunity to have a core-based exhibit that could be expanded upon in both directions, to give a more complete history of the African American experience and the African experience in America. We believe that American history and African American history are intertwined; they are essentially the exact same thing.”

The exhibit will be augmented with a series of virtual lectures and book study sessions over the next several months, covering the history of the African people from ancient Egypt to the current Black Lives Matter movement. 

The Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow exhibit is open to the public at Voices of Pensacola from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Admission is free. 

To learn more, visit africanamericanheritagesociety.org.