Timucuan Parks Foundation has been awarded a grant from the 400 Years of African American History Commission

The grant will support programming and events to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the first enslaved being brought to North America

Timucuan Parks Foundation is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from the 400 Years of African American History Commission. The nonprofit filed for the grant to assist with programming and events to mark the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans being forcibly brought to English-occupied North America. TPF was awarded $10,000 to support the programming designed to look at slavery’s instrumental role in the development of the United States and how it affects today’s society.

Kingsley Plantation, which is part of the National Park Service’s Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, is one of only a few local historic sites that addresses slavery’s role in our country. It is located on Fort George Island and is home to Florida’s oldest standing plantation house and the remains of original tabby slave cabins. It has the original barn and kitchen house and also includes a garden planted with sample crops that would have grown during the plantation era. Kingsley Plantation is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While tours of this historic site can’t be done in person, we are working with our national park partner to develop ways to showcase the African American history of the area through virtual events and programs,” said Felicia Boyd, outreach and program director for TPF. “One of the programs the grant will support is our national park partner’s work with the Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team Youth Corps. Throughout the summer, the teens have been working on an audio presentation, or radio show as the teens refer to it, that tells the story of the enslaved at Kingsley Plantation in a unique and creative way.”

In addition to the Preserve’s virtual programs, events and the Groundwork Green Team Youth Corps project, the grant will be used to support the annual Kingsley Heritage Celebration and Harvest Day in 2021.

The 400 Years of African American History Commission was established in 2018 to plan and develop programming and activities throughout the country to mark the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans being brought to the English colonies. The programs and events throughout the United States are designed to showcase the resilience and contributions of African Americans since they were forcibly brought to the new world in 1619. The events will also acknowledge the painful impact of slavery, racial discrimination and racism in the nation. More information can be found at 400yaahc.com.