African American History
Examples from the Florida Collection
Josiah T. Walls, U.S. Congressman,
Florida, 1870-1876

The P.K. Yonge Library has a growing collection of resources for conducting research into the history of black Americans in Florida from colonial times through the 20th century.  Specific questions about collections can be directed to the Curator for Florida History.
Read about a black regiment
in Florida during the Civil War

Additions to the Collection
Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks Microfilm.  Cataloged in LUIS and available.
Records of the Freedmen's Bureau in Florida Microfilm.  Cataloged in LUIS and available.
Mary McLeod Bethune Papers Microfilm.  Cataloged in LUIS and available.
Papers of the NAACP Microfilm.  Cataloged in LUIS and available.
Centers of the Southern Struggle Microfilm.  Cataloged in LUIS and available.


Major microfilm archives are: 
Public Records Office (London)  
East Florida Papers (Lib. Con.)  
Papeles de Cuba (AGI)  
Bahamas Gov. Records,1700-1850  

These collections cover the period 1763 to 1821 and include laws and policies directed at "people of color," petitions for rights and liberty, census data and slave lists, and information on the slave trade.  The Spanish colonial records contain law suits, both civil and criminal, involving free blacks and slaves and cover subjects such as slander and manumission. 

Felipe Edimboro petitions to determine the cost of buying his freedom, 1794, East Florida Papers 


Major cateogries of microfilm are: 

    Records of the Bureau of Freedmen    
    Records of Military Units, Colored Troops  
    U.S. Dept. of Navy, 1808-1865  
    American Missionary Assoc., 1839-1882  
    The Southern Workman (1872-1939)  
    Florida Censuses   
    Church Records  

    Prior to the Civil War, three major conflicts in Florida involved the issue of African American liberty.  From 1812 onwards, American slave owners in Georgia and South Carolina were increasingly angry and fearful of free black and refugee slave communities among the Spanish and Seminoles.  Southern propaganda focused on these groups as potential leaders of slave insurrections.  Black Floridians were therefore drawn into the great contest for possession of Florida played out during the Patriot War (1812-1814), the First Seminole War (1817-1818), and the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). 


Report, American attack on 
a refugee slave stronghold in Spanish Florida

Students protest the closing of Lincoln High School,   
Gainesville, 1969

The library's major manuscript collections in Florida politics and its collection of regional newspapers are both basic sources of information on the progress of the civil rights movement.  The papers of the NACCP are currently being acquired on microfilm. Portions of the papers of Mary McLeod Bethune are already part of the microfilm collection, and additions are being made. The Zora Neale Hurston Collection features manuscripts and correspondence of one of Florida's foremost African American authors. See also the recommendations for searching the library catalog at Race & Labor in Modern America and at African Americans in Florida.


African American Newspapers of Florida & Georgia at U.F. Library

Colored Citizen (Pensacola, Fla.)
Pensacola, Fla.: Campbell & Washington
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: 1914 to 1948. Scattered issues, usually only one to two months for each year.

The Florida Evangelist
Jacksonville, Fla.: Rev. J. Milton Waldron
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: Began in 1896. Ceased in 1902. Only one extant issue, Jan. 20, 1900 (Reel 1B-1).

Florida Sentinel (Tampa, Fla.)
Tampa, Fla.: Florida Sentinel Pub. Co., Inc.
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: Began in 1945. This run goes only from Dec. 17, 1955 to Oct. 12, 1957.

Florida Star
Jacksonville, Fla.: The Florida Star Pub. Co.
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: Began in 1956. Run goes from 1956 to the present.
Alternate title(s): Florida Star and News; Florida Star News
Notes: "Florida's statewide black weekly."

The Gazette and Land Bulletin
Waycross & Brunswick, Ga.; Tampa, Fla.: Gazette Pub. Co.
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: Began in 1896. One issue only, Jan. 27, 1900 (Reel 1B-3).

The Jacksonville Free Press
Jacksonville, Fla.: Florida Advocate Pub. Co.; Rita Luffborough Perry.
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: (Sept. 16, 1987). Run extends from 1987 to the present.
Alternate title(s): Jacksonville Advocate; Jacksonville Advocate Free Press

The Miami Times
Miami, Fla.: The Magic Printery
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: Began in 1923. This run starts in 1958 and was only sporadically filmed until 1960. Continues to the present.

People's Journal (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Jacksonville, Fla.: J.W. Thompson
Frequency: Weekly (published every Saturday)
Publishing history: Begain in 1891. Four issues only from 1891 (Reel 1A-53).

Saint Augustine Post
St. Augustine, Fla.: The Post Pub. Co.
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: Began in 1933. Only issue on film is June 22, 1933.

The Tampa Guardian
Tampa, Fla. : Jas. T. Magbee
Frequency: Weekly
Publishing history: Began in May 1873; ceased in 1886. Scattered issues only preserved on film for 1878, 1879, and 1886.

Voice of the People (Atlanta, Ga.)
Published: Atlanta, Ga.: Bishop H.M. Turner
Frequency: Monthly
Publishing history: (Feb. 1, 1901). This run is from Feb. 1, 1901 to Feb. 1, 1904.

For complete listings, check the library catalog (s=African American newspapers), or go to the database for the U.S. Newspaper Project (Florida) and enter titles.

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Updated November 2, 1999