During the month of February, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument invites Historic City News readers in St Augustine to celebrate Black History Month with them as they present a new Civil Rights exhibit.
On display from February 1–29, the exhibit will commemorate the Civil Rights Movement in St Augustine and describe the influence our city had on the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Special to the exhibits are living history dramatizations of the Woolworth sit-ins; presented by volunteer Bernadette Reeves. These dramatizations will take place on Saturdays at 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm.
“I enjoy telling the history of the Oldest City,” Reeves said. “But, as an African American woman, I feel a great responsibility to share the stories of my ancestors — whether they are about Fort Mose or Lincolnville.”
The Civil Rights Exhibit at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument also features one of the stools from the lunch counter of the former Woolworth store on King Street — where one of the nation’s sit-ins took place. Other footage of civil rights activities in St Augustine will be displayed.
Visitors can also explore the Lincolnville Historic District — a National Register landmark where many Civil Rights Movement events actually took place, and, Fort Mose Historic State Park, also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Mose Historic State Park tells the story of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, the first legally sanctioned, free African settlement in what is now the United States.
The staff and volunteers of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument thanked the St Augustine Historical Society Research Library and the Floyd family of St Augustine for help in developing these new exhibits and programs.
The Castillo is open every day from 8:45 am to 5:00 pm with interpretive discussions held on the hour. Historic weapons demonstrations take place on the weekends on the half hour.
Raphael Cosme contributed to this article
Special to Historic City News
Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News contributed photograph by Bernadette Reeves