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NWFSC Listen & Learn Lecture - The African Presence in Spanish Florida: Black Seminoles

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


2/15/2013 - A guest scholar presentation on "The African Presence in Spanish Florida: Black Seminoles" will be held Wednesday, February 27 at 4:30 p.m. at the Northwest Florida State College Niceville campus in the Student Services Center, room 132. The Listen & Learn lecture is free of charge and open to the public and features Dr. Rosalyn Howard, an Anthropology professor from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Howard specializes in Cultural Anthropology and her presentation will focus on her research about the interrelationships of Seminole Indians and their African allies, who became known as Black Seminoles, in Florida and The Bahamas. Among her publications is the book entitled Black Seminoles in the Bahamas, which is based on research she conducted while living in the community of Red Bays, Andros Island, Bahamas for one year.

Red Bays is the primary residence of descendants of Black Seminoles who escaped Florida from the early 1820s through the late 1830s. Dr. Howard is also a member of an interdisciplinary research team for the "Looking for Angola" project that is investigating a 19th Century Florida maroon community formerly located in the Tampa/Sarasota Bay area, which has direct connections to her Bahamian research community.

The event is sponsored by the NWFSC Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts Division, the NWFSC African American Student Association and funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council. For information contact the Humanities division at 729-5382 or Dr. Jeremy Ribando at 729-6073.

African slaves have often risked life and limb to escape southern slavery, but their options for sanctuary were extremely limited. Some fled to the Caribbean, while others fled south and joined forces with another group of outlaws: the Seminoles. Dr. Rosalyn Howard will examine the African influence on Florida's iconic tribe, as well as the related Caribbean diaspora.

Professor Rosalyn Howard is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the North American Indian Studies Program at the University of Central Florida. She specializes in Cultural Anthropology and her primary area of research is ethnohistorical studies of the African Diaspora with a focus on the interrelationships formed by African and Indigenous peoples in the Americas and the Caribbean.