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November 7, 2014–April 5,2015

Black History Month 2015

civil rights movement

Martin Luther King

Photos From the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory Project

The Museum of Florida History presents the special exhibit Civil Rights in the Sunshine State from November 7, 2014 to April 5, 2015 in downtown Tallahassee. Through artifacts, videos, interactive elements, and narratives, visitors can explore the significant contributions Florida made to the state and national civil rights movement.

The Museum of Florida History produced Civil Rights in the Sunshine State in collaboration with multiple universities, organizations, and individuals. Many of the photographs on display are from the State Archives of Florida, and there are artifacts from across the state, loaned from organizations such as the Ritz Theatre and Museum in Jacksonville, HistoryMiami, Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center, ACCORD Civil Rights Museum, Stetson Kennedy Foundation, and Meeks-Eaton Black Archives and Museum at Florida A&M University.

Among the items on display are a Bible of the Reverend Theodore Gibson, who was a leader of the civil rights movements in Miami, and a stool from Woolworths Department Store in Jacksonville, which was the site of a famous "sit-in" demonstration in 1960 that made national headlines. Complementing the artifacts are videos of numerous civil rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Patricia Stephens Due, Theodore Gibson, and Reverend C. K. Steele.

Civil rights activists from Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and other cities served as advisors on the exhibit, along with historians from Florida State University, the University of Florida, Florida A&M University, and the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN).

The exhibit is one aspect of a number of initiatives undertaken by the Florida Department of State to commemorate the historic signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Other events include a collection of photographs compiled by the State Archives on, and a calendar of statewide events can be found at For more information about the Museum of Florida History or the exhibit, please visit

Civil Rights in the Sunshine State Programs

Created Equal Film Series:Freedom Riders

March 7, 2015

11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Join the Museum of Florida History for a viewing and discussion of Freedom Riders. The film tells the moving and suspenseful story of demonstrators who rode buses into the Deep South and risked violence as local authorities ignored or encouraged attacks.
The film is part of the Created Equal Film Series from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Tallahassee showings are a collaboration between the John G. Riley Museum, the Museum of Florida History, the Florida Historic Capitol Museum and the Knott House Museum. The series is sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Freedom Riders ties directly into the Civil Rights in the Sunshine State exhibit. People can pre-order lunch from the Egg or bring their own lunches for the noontime discussion in the Gallery for Innovation and the Arts.

History at High Noon:Civil Rights

March 24, 2015

Noon–12:45 p.m.

Author Glenda Alice Rabby will discuss her book The Pain and the Promise: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Tallahassee, Florida.

Florida Humanities CouncilFunding for some programs was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.