The Florida Black Historical Research Project provides the general public with previously hidden or forgotten facts about Florida’s Black history, including early African arrivals, Black pirates, the mound builders, Southern Underground Railroad routes, Seminole Maroons and the Seminole Wars, particularly the 1838 Loxahatchee Battlefield in northern Palm Beach County.
Most notably, FBHRP has established, and continues to maintain vital links to the Black Seminole communities of Oklahoma, descendants of Trail of Tears survivors expelled from Florida.
FBHRP conducts and encourages research, organizes presentations, and produces displays and publications, including “We R Florida,” the popular brief history by FBHRP founder, the late Isa Hamm Bryant (pictured left), who pioneered the effort to bring these important stories to light.
FBHRP was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt community organization.
Pictured to the right: Dr. Wallis Tinnie and Prof. Gene Tinnie (cen.L-R.) join Principal Chief Lewis Johnson of the Great Seminole Nation of Oklahoma (Far L.) and a member of the Nation's Security Team (Far R.) at Seminole Convocation in Jupiter, Florida, April 1-3, 2022.
Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc. (FBHRP) has received $50,000 from Telling the Full History Preservation Fund—a grant program from the National Trust for Historic Preservation
, made possible through the National Endowment for the Humanities under the American Rescue Plan.
The funding enables the planning and presentation of a five-day “185-Year Seminole Maroon Family Reunion,” on January 11-15, 2023, a physical and virtual gathering in Jupiter Florida (in present-day Palm Beach County), site of the two pivotal 1838 Battles of the Loxahatchee River during the Second Seminole War, which significantly altered the course of full American history.
The event also marks the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking “160-Year Family Reunion” held in 1998, which brought Oklahoma Seminole Maroon (“Black Seminole” or “Estelusti”) descendants (of Trail of Tears survivors) to their Ancestral homeland of Florida for the first time, garnering remarkably broad local interest and support, and establishing permanent networks and exchanges which continue today. January's event is expanded to include Maroon descendant communities in Mexico, Texas, and the Bahamas as well as Oklahoma and Florida itself.
FBHRP is one of 80 organizations that received $25,000 or $50,000 grants to interpret and preserve historic places of importance that embody the history of underrepresented communities in our nation.
Telling the Full History grants support the core activities of humanities-based organizations as these organizations recover from the pandemic, using historic places as catalysts for a more just and equitable society. To learn more about this grant program, visit Forum.SavingPlaces.org/tellingthefullhistoryfund.