Florida - History and Heritage

In the Seminole language, ah-tah-thi-ki means "a place to learn." At the Big Cypress Reservation's Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, visitors are able to immerse themselves in the history and culture of the Seminole tribe, which has thrived in the Florida swamps and Everglades for centuries. A living village has been created on site to demonstrate what daily life was like for the tribe—from crafting sweet grass baskets and woodcarvings to hunting deer and constructing canoes. There are also several permanent exhibits that display the archaeological and contemporary art holdings of the tribe.

Tallahassee's Museum of Florida History provides visitors with an overview of the extensive role African Americans have played in the development of the state. A permanent exhibition on the Civil War highlights the African-American troops who served in the Union Army and fought in numerous battles, including the Battle of Olustee of 1864 and the Battle of Natural Bridge, which took place just south of Tallahassee in 1865.

The many legacies of artists of African descent are on permanent display at the Zora Neale Hurston Museum of Fine Arts in Eatonville. The oldest incorporated African American municipality in the United States, the city of Eatonville is devoted to celebrating the cultural heritage of its community. The Hurston, as the museum is called, opened in 1990 and was named for renowned writer Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. It consistently organizes exhibitions that coincide with the interests of its renowned namesake, which include southern African-American culture, anthropology and folklore.

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