FL State Parks to recognize Black History Month

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The Florida Park Service is commemorating Black History Month and recognizing the many ways African Americans have enriched Florida's communities, culture and history.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, Ravine Gardens State Park is celebrating African American artists from 5 to 8 p.m. "The Heart of Art" event will showcase visual and musical art along with historical displays, live jazz, poetry readings and desserts.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Fort Mose Historic State Park was the first legally sanctioned free African settlement site in the United States. DEP says in 1738, the governor chartered the settlement as Fort Mose for those fleeing slavery from the English colonies. For 25 years Fort Mose began a sanctuary for Africans seeking liberation and freedom.

February 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors are invited for 15-minute walks with living historians who will tell the story of the journey to escape slavery. At 2 pm, Dr. James G. Cusick, curator of the PK Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida, will present a lecture.

For a complete list of events being held at Florida’s state parks, visit http://www.floridastateparks.org/thingstodo/events.cfm.