Sarasota wants to be the home of future Florida Black History Museum

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Graphic presented to committee from Sarasota// Credit: Visit Sarasota County, 2023

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State officials are looking at locations for a future Florida Museum of Black History, and Sarasota County is gunning for the spot.

Sarasota was among a handful of areas around Florida, including St. Petersburg and St Johns County, pitching their location to the Florida Museum of Black History Task Force.

“To the civil rights movement and beyond, Sarasota’s African-American community has played a vital role in shaping the city we see today.”

Shantel Norman is with Visit Sarasota County. She pitched Sarasota to a nine-member task force, appointed by Governor Ron Desantis, to provide recommendations for a future Florida Museum of Black History.

She said the city has a deep history  with the struggle for beach integration during the civil rights era

“Sarasota is on the US Civil Rights trail, right up there with iconic sites, such as the Edmond Pettus bridge, and Ebeneezer Baptist Church. Sarasota is the southernmost site on the trail. Why? Because of our beach desegregation story.”

Locations will be evaluated according to factors including historical significance and demographics.

The next committee meeting is January 12th.

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