Distinguished Speaker Series | Jeff Stotts: Mid 19th Century Key West African American community
7-November from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM$5.00 - $10.00
The community of Key West in the nineteenth century evolved from many cultural contributions. Most African descendants already living in mainland Florida had escaped prior servitude. Some were multi-generational descendants of freeman from the era of Spanish Florida, who had migrated into Key West. Many generations being mostly catholic, recently Americanized from Spanish rule, were never enslaved. These Afro-American merchants, businessmen, multi-skilled workers from St. Augustine, came south to Key West. Black Bahamians whose vast majorities are seafarers and skilled laborers were leaving behind a shattered economy in the Bahamas, represented many initial colonizers of Key West. Various settlers in transition of African descent, hailing from the far corners of the new world, were carving out a unique social and economic existence in the southernmost city, Key West.