Commissioner of Education's African American History Task Force

Commissioner of Education's African American History Task Force

The Commissioner of Education's AAHTF is an advocate for Florida’s school districts, teacher educa

Current Legislation: Florida Statute 1003.42(2)(h)

Operating as usual


Limited seats! Register TODAY!


📣Join and during our Virtual Summer Institute, Historical Happenings: Revisiting the Past to Strengthen the Future, June 14-15, 2023 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM to experience these dynamic speakers!

Craig Pittman, a native Floridian from Pensacola, worked for the Tampa Bay Times for 31 years and now writes environmental issues for the Florida Phoenix.
"More Than An Anthem: The Living Legacy of Lift Every Voice and Sing" on June 14, 2023

Gary Mormino, is the Frank E. Duckwall professor emeritus in history at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.
"Florida & World War II: The African American Experience" on June 15, 2023

For more info, visit:

This event is part of Florida Humanities' redesigned Florida Talks program. The organization's speakers' bureau features more than 30 exceptional scholars, journalists, authors, and humanities experts and over 60 brand-new and returning programs.

Funding for this program was provided by Florida Humanities and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.


REGISTER! 📣Don't Delay! Limited seats are available for this year's VIRTUAL summer institute, "Historical Happenings: Revisiting the Past to Strengthen the Future," June 14-15, 2023. This professional development conference for educators and school districts is open to ALL! 🎉The African American History Task Force has partnered up with the Florida Humanities to bring speakers from their Florida Talks program, which offers nonprofit organizations across the state an accessible way to host engaging speakers who present Florida's history, heritage, and culture through historical and contemporary lenses.
⌚Stay tuned for our featured speakers from the Florida Humanities!

Visit our website at
or the link below to register TODAY! 🖥️


Content credit: Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame


Image credit: ECB Publishing


Images credit: Pioneers of Flight


Content credit: 10 Facts About



Image(s) credit: IMDb


Content credit:


Image and content credit: Rollins College Archives


Formed in the 1930s to boost unemployment during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps was instrumental in the building of the first eight Florida state parks. At the time, many of the organization's corps were segregated, and it was one of these Black CCC corps that traveled to Sarasota in 1935.
Battling discrimination, as well as biting insects and intense heat, these brave workers helped build Myakka River State Park from the ground up, and many of the facilities they built are still in use today.

Images and content credit: Florida State Parks


Born in bo***ge in Gadsden County, in 1835, Florida, Robert Meacham became a leader in Florida during Reconstruction, holding various occupations, including State Senator. He retired in Tampa in 1896 and died from failing health on February 27, 1902.
Image credit: Florida Memory


On this day in history, in 1864, Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first Black woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. A true pioneer, she battled deep-seated prejudice against women and African Americans in medicine. After earning her degree in Boston, she spent time caring for formerly enslaved people in Richmond, Virginia, after the American Civil War. In 1883, Dr. Crumpler published her Book of Medical Discourses. It chronicles her experiences as a doctor and provides guidance on maternal and child health.

Images credit: Boston University, PBS, Content credit: National Park Service


On this day in history, in 1990, The National Register of Historic Places recognized the Daytona Beach home of Dr. Howard Thurman as a National Historic Preservation Site. Located: 614 Whitehall Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 3214

Author, philosopher, theologian, and educator Howard Thurman spent most of his childhood in this late 19th-century, two-story, wood-frame vernacular residence. In quiet moments before a civil rights march, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., used to read from Thurman's Jesus and the Disinherited--a book that laid much of the philosophical foundation for a nonviolent civil rights movement. According to Thurman, fear, deception, and hatred prohibit a peaceful end to racial bigotry.

Images credit:, Historic Maker Database
Content credit: Dr. Maxine Jones & National Park Service


The original structure (left) no longer exists, but the current building is located at 1456 Van Buren Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32206.

Content and images credit: Dr. Maxine Jones and The Jaxson


Clifford Chester Sims was born in Port St Joe, Florida, on June 18, 1942. He entered the Army from Jacksonville, Florida, and served with the 501 1st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, rising to be a Staff Sergeant. Staff Sergeant Sims died in an explosion protecting members of his squad on February 21, 1968.

Eye witness reports the following:

"Before the squad reached their destination, they encountered a bunker, and SSG Sims took it upon himself to see if it was empty. As he moved forward, a b***y trap went off, and everybody froze. But SSG Sims shouted a warning and then dove on it, fatally wounding him. However, he had covered the blast with his own body and thus saved the lives of those in the area." - Virgil Meyers, Danny Gipson, and James Noe.

Sims posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War. He was 25 at his death and was laid to rest at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida.

Content credit: Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Images credit: Congressional Medal of Honor Society, The Tennessean, The Wall of Faces, VVM Fund


Images credit: Museum of Modern Art and Bettmann/Bettmann Archive


Image credit: National Museum of American History/Behring Center


When Talbert T. Gray joined WESH-TV in Orlando in 1969, he became the first black newsman on a commercial station in Florida. In a long career in TV, newspapers, magazines, and radio, Talbert blazed trails and opened doors, changing media in the South forever. He also published the first African American magazine to celebrate diversity in Central Florida and hosted a talk show on public television station WMFE-TV. Talbert now lives in North Carolina.

Image and content credit: Orange County Regional History Center, Celebrating African American Inventors & Innovators


Teaching Jacksonville's African American History
7pm - 8:30pm
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Downtown Campus, Advanced Technology Center
Room 140/141

Click the link below for additional information on this event shared by Exemplary District, Duval County Public Schools !


Born in 1938 in Alachua County, Florida, Clarence Fort, at the age of 21, served as the president of the Tampa Florida National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council in 1960. Fort organized and participated in the city's first lunch counter sit-ins in the Woolworth Department store. The successful protest ended with no incident as a result of being served.

Images credit: Hand Art Center and Bay News 9


Dr. Daniel Webster Roberts was known to be the first African American physician in St. Augustine, Florida. His practice was the largest in Florida, servicing patients from Ponte Vedra to Ormand Beach. During the deadliest Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Dr. Roberts stayed ready three horses, wrote sixty prescriptions a day, and miraculously did not lose a single patient during the ordeal. He also tutored white doctors who were entering the profession. Sadly, Dr. Roberts passed away from pneumonia at 52 due to an automobile accident. With the countless lives he saved, Dr. Roberts leaves an indelible legacy of early Black doctors. All heroes do not wear capes; some have stethoscopes. We remember and salute Dr. Daniel Webster Roberts.

Photo credit: L-R: Ann Dixon and Florida Memory

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