Jacksonville’s past is a rich tapestry of diverse cultures and traditions. Don’t miss these multicultural neighborhoods and landmarks on your visit to Jax! Visit our self-guided tour of Jacksonville's African-American History.
For more information about Northeast Florida’s multicultural history and landmarks review the Jacksonville's African-American Heritage Guide or learn more about Florida’s African-American Heritage Trail.
The Ritz Theater & Museum
Built in 1929 and still operating today, the art deco Ritz Theater was a cornerstone for African-American culture in Jacksonville. The theater is located in Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood on the northwest side of downtown, which was once known as “The Harlem of the South.” Tour the theater and the 11,000 square foot museum for a glimpse into Jacksonville’s multicultural past.
A Blend of History and Culture. Learn about the composers of America’s Black National Anthem. " Written by Jacksonville native sons James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson right here in Jacksonville. The Johnson brothers were two luminaries in early African-American history and culture, hear the story behind "Lift Ev'ry Voice" and so much more at the Ritz Theatre and Museum in the historic LaVilla neighborhood of Downtown.
During La Villa’s time of activity in the 1920s-1960s, it was known as the “Harlem of the South. Located in downtown Jacksonville, the museum is open Tuesday-Saturday.
Clara White Museum
Tour the Clara White Museum, also in the LaVilla neighborhood, to learn about the lives of Clara and her daughter Dr. Eartha White. Clara English White was a former slave who fed hungry neighbors from her home. Today her legacy lives on in the Clara White Mission, a community center which feeds more than 10,000 homeless men, women, and children per year.
Walk through the buildings and grounds of Jacksonville's oldest residential home, Kingsley Plantation. Explore the preserved slave quarters, barn, plantation house, kitchen house, and garden, all located amidst the beautiful wetlands of the Timucuan Preserve. Free admission.
See where African-American families came in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s to relax by the ocean. Founded in 1935 by Florida’s first black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, American Beach on the south end of Amelia Island, was the state’s first African-American resort community.
If you are looking for more history about Jacksonville, we have it right here.