African American Heritage in Historic St. Augustine
Wound throughout the charming streets of Historic St. Augustine, centuries’ worth of African American heritage are alive and well. From the United States’ first settlement of free slaves at Fort Mose, to Lincolnville – the neighborhood that played a major role in United States history – St. Augustine proves why the African American story is one of our nation’s greatest strengths. Journey through these fabled streets with this free African American Heritage Itinerary. We’ve included suggestions for historical landmarks, like the Plaza de la Constitucion, museums, lodging and dining recommendations.
MORNING | Breakfast and Lincolnville
Named after Abraham Lincoln, Lincolnville was established shortly after the Civil War by newly freed African Americans. What began as a cluster of plantation squatter shacks known as “Africa” eventually boasted the city’s largest collection of Victorian homes. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a historic district in 1991. Now, Lincolnville is a vibrant neighborhood of homes, businesses, churches and parks.
Unique café offering fresh, locally-sourced Southern cuisine for breakfast and lunch, located in Historic St. Augustine’s Lincolnville neighborhood.
Explore the museum and its collection of exhibits on African American history and culture in northeast Florida from the 1700s to today.
Visit the holy place where Martin Luther King preached in 1964. His presence amplified its importance to St. Augustine’s Black community and the church’s permanent tribute to African American heritage fostered the Civil Rights movement.
Further your knowledge of African American heritage with a guided tour through historical sites, including the Plaza de la Constitucion – a former slave market. These tours have been put on hold for the time being. Please check back periodically for updates.
Follow markers describing Civil Rights-related events and people at more than 30 sites on the ACCORD Freedom Trail. Brochures for the ACCORD Freedom Trail’s self-guided walking tour are available at the St. Augustine Visitor Information Center in downtown Historic St. Augustine.
TRUE STORY: St. Augustine is the only place in Florida where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was ever arrested. His and other demonstrations in the city led directly to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
AFTERNOON | Lunch and Fort Mose
Visit the original location of Fort Mose! Casual historians and buffs alike will enjoy the interactive museum that chronicles the first free African American settlement in what would become the United States.
Features: This 40-acre waterfront historic site features picnic areas, exceptional wildlife and birding opportunities, one kayak launch boardwalk, a visitor center, and a museum.
In celebration of Black History Month during the month of February, learn the story of hundreds of freedom seekers who fled to Spanish Florida from enslavement on British plantations in 1700s.
The experience of this perilous journey and the historical context in which it occurred is re-created by living history demonstrators in this annual Fort Mose event.
Honoring the Legacy: A Tribute to African Americans in Golf
This permanent exhibition at the World Golf Hall of Fame contains rare photographs, audio, video and memorabilia to highlight the rich history of African Americans in golf, starting with pioneers from the late 1800s through today’s game.
EVENING | Dinner and Plaza De La Constitucion
Originally built by the king of Spain in 1598, the Plaza De La Constitucion eventually became the Slave Market. In the 1960s, the first attempts to integrate food counters in St. Augustine were at a Woolworths that faced the Plaza. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US settled by Europeans; therefore, it is almost certain that the Plaza de la Constitucion is the oldest public park in the US that still functions as a public park.
Dinner with a view, complemented by fresh Maryland Blue Crab Cakes or a Florida-style Bucket O’ Steamers.
St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument
Pay tribute to the people who engaged in various forms of peaceful protest in St. Augustine during the 1960s to advance the Civil Rights movement, contributing to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The sculpture is permanently installed at the Plaza De La Constitucion in historic downtown St. Augustine. It is in the Southeast corner of the Plaza near the intersection of King Street and Charlotte Street.