Black History Month in Pensacola
February is a month to remember important people and events in African-American history. Carter G. Woodson, a U.S. historian, established this annual celebration on the second week of February in 1926. The impact of African-American culture and heritage is deeply rooted in Pensacola. Celebrate black history through music, art, literature and Southern soul food along the African-American Heritage Trail.
Historical Sites to Visit:
St. John the Baptist Church, 101 N. 10th Ave. Founded in 1847, it’s the first black church in Pensacola.
Five Sisters Blues Café, 421 W. Belmont St., (850) 912-4856. Featuring Southern soul food with Creole and Caribbean flair plus live blues music, this restaurant is located in the old Gussies Record Shop.
African-American Heritage Society, 200 E. Church St. The organization, housed in the Kate Coulson House, promotes, preserves and integrates African-American heritage and culture.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza, Palafox and Garden streets. The plaza commemorates the contributions of Dr. King and is the perfect centerpiece downtown, whether for the summer farmer's market, to watch various parades or just take a moment to reflect.
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African-American Icons of Pensacola:
- Matthew Lewy was publisher of the Florida Sentinel, a leading African-American newspaper in the state.
- John Sunday was a Civil War soldier and state legislator during reconstruction who became a wealthy entrepreneur in the late 19th century.
- Chappie James is the nation’s first black four-star general.
- Rosamond Johnson was the first African-American to die in the Korean War. He was only 17 and was killed trying to save his fellow soldiers.
- James Polkinghorne, Jr. was a Tuskegee airman and a WWII hero.
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