Groups plan Lincolnville history showcase

By Jaclyn Miklos |

The Friends of Excelsior and Florida Humanities Council will light up Lincolnville on Saturday, Feb. 27, to showcase the area’s history.

The Excelsior Museum and Cultural Center of Lincolnville said they are hosting this event to showcase Lincolnville’s controversial history and when business there was thriving with jazzy music filling the streets. They said the event will also premiere Don Edwards’ film “The Way Things Were,” and 12 figures featured in the video will be present.

“This event is almost indescribable, like a rebirth of what part the African Americans played and the history in Lincolnville,” said Otis Mason, president of Friends of Excelsior. “My experiences growing up in Lincolnville and witnessing the changes in this town give me a very positive outlook of what will happen for the entire community.”

The Florida Humanities Council granted the Friends of Excelsior $2,000 to produce the documentary. Harry Burney conducted the Humanities Scholar for the event and will play the Ghost of Lincolnville for guests. Burney will act out scenes of Lincolnville’s controversial times during the film.

“It’s all about getting the facts out there. Lincolnville was not all black, and slavery was here,” Burney said. “You can’t ignore your history, blacks have been betrayed in history books and we have betrayed ourselves.”

According to Burney, Lincolnville’s first name was Little Africa. It wasn’t until 1866 when the name was changed. On Jan. 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to declare the slaves forever free. Three years later the name Lincolnville was established.

The Excelsior Museum once stood as the only school for African Americans in St. Augustine in the early 1900’s. The honorees at the event will share their stories about the school and relish in the past. Debby Moore, a historic singer and songwriter, is on the Friends of Excelsior board and one of the honorees. Moore sang in bands with various famous artists in her day, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Earl Fatha Hines and Erskine Hawkins.

Music from Roland Fleming and other Lincolnville artist will be presented at the event.

This event is presented in part by Dow Advantage Public Relations Group at Flagler College. Jaclyn Miklos is co-Managing Partner of Flagler College’s Dow Advantage Public Relations Group.

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