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Celebrating Diversity for Thirty (30) Years.

The African American Heritage Society, Inc. was founded September 12,1990 as a 501(c) 3 organization and has operated continuously with vision and purpose for thirty (30) years. 

Our mission is to preserve, promote, educate and integrate African American history, heritage, culture and diversity in Pensacola and the Greater Gulf Coast Region through education and the humanities, and to continue to lead the area in supporting and promoting Cultural Tourism in Northwest Florida.

Through quality programming, the African American Heritage Society ("the Society") has offered retrospective exhibits in the visual arts and humanities, performing arts programs, cultural festivals, as well as educational lectures, all highlighting a broad spectrum of the African American unique and creative influences and contributions to American life. 

Please click the link above entitled 'chronological history & record of events' for a listing of the many transformative presentations that we have presented in Pensacola and the surrounding Greater Gulf Coast Region.

The Historic "Coulson House" was built in 1865 and has been the Headquarters of the African American Heritage Society for twenty (20) years. Prior to our location here, we were at the Pensacola Cultural Center, also in the Historical District, from 1990 to 2000. The above photo is of the entrance to the Gallery.

Non Discrimination Statement:

The African American Heritage Society, Inc. was also founded upon the principles of diversity and inclusion. The Society does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, nor disability. Employment opportunities, membership, attendance and access to our center, gallery, programs, and events are open to ALL, and we invite you to join us.




223 Palafox Street

Pensacola, FL 32502

Hours Open!!! 

Tuesday         10 AM to 4 PM

Wednesday   10 AM to 4 PM and 5 PM to 7 PM (with music)

Thursday        10 AM to 4 PM

Friday              10 AM to 4PM

Saturday         10 AM to 4 PM and 5 PM to 7 PM (with music)

This exhibit explores a more complete history of America which includes Americans of African ancestry. It explores the history of the first known African people to be enslaved in America arriving in the Jamestown Colony, now Virginia, in 1619; and that history up to

and including the present.


African American History Exhibit AND Lecture Series

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow opened on Saturday, November 21, 2020 with Guest Lecturer Lillie Edwards, Ph.D.

This exhibit explores and teaches the untaught history of America. You will learn of the arrival of Africans who were kidnapped and human trafficked from Africa by the Portuguese initially. The Portuguese ship was intercepted and the captive human beings from Angola in Southwestern Africa were placed aboard the Dutch slave ship, The White Lion, and taken to Jamestown Colony, now Virginia.

The British Colonists acquired the kidnapped Africans in 1619, one year before the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620. The captured humans were enslaved by the Colonists for the purpose of working them as free labor to build and develop the infrastructure of the Northern Colonies, initially.  This event marked the beginning of enslaved humans in America. Note that these were not the first Africans to travel to America, as many Africans had been members of exploration teams to America since the 1500's and many had lived in various regions of North America and the Caribbean Islands for hundreds of years.

The Colonies, followed later by the South, and other North American Slave holding states then began in earnest to participate in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade which continued until approximately 15 million African people had been captured, kidnapped, and human trafficked from the African continent and taken against their will to the Americas, where they were forced to work for free for 246 years. After the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade was mostly abolished effectively in 1807, the American Slave holding states continued to depend on the enslavement of Africans and ultimately African Americans, so they forced breeding among the enslaved people to increase and maintain supply, often participating themselves in the reproduction of that supply to meet the demands of their nation building work. Some states such as South Carolina and Alabama continued their Trans Atlantic Slave Trading practices to some extent.

For reasons that have never been articulated by the government, none of the enslaved people nor their present day descendants have ever been compensated nor provided reparations for the 246 years of free labor expended to build America, nor for the crimes against humanity visited upon the bodies, minds and spirit of the enslaved humans nor their descendants. Further, the exhibit explores the continuing effects of disenfranchisement of the descendants of the enslaved, who have continued to be negatively impacted to this day even after Slavery was abolished and the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

The disparities have continued to perpetuate to this date due to many laws that were enacted, combined with Court, often Supreme Court legal decisions and the related opinions which effectively upheld segregation (See: Plessy v. Ferguson 1896) , lack of government protection for formerly enslaved persons which led to the advent of lynching after Reconstruction and numerous Massacres such as those in Ocoee, Miami, and Rosewood, Florida and Tulsa Oklahoma. (See: the Slaughterhouse Cases 1873 and U.S. v. Cruikshank 1875), legally sanctioned redlining which prevented African Americans including Veterans from purchasing homes, which was the means by which to begin to build wealth and stability (See: The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein), laws which permitted businesses to discriminate on the based on race (1875 Supreme Court Case), and validated local, state and federal agencies and private employers in paying African Americans significantly lower wages for performing the exact same work, a practice that continues to this day, inadequate healthcare as the government has acknowledged that it has historically performed medical experiments on persons of color (the Tuskegee Syphilis Study as one example), thereby creating lasting fear and distrust  among many in African American communities causing many to refrain from accessing medical care when needed.

This exhibit covers each of the above issues and is a must for all who revere history and knowledge. The original groundbreaking and highly celebrated exhibit was curated by the storied New York Historical Society Museum & Library founded in 1804 as New York's first museum. The title of this exhibit suggests coverage of the singular time period of Jim Crow, as that was in fact the subject of the original eight (8) poster exhibit. However, the exhibit has been augmented with sixteen (16) additional posters curated by Cheryl Howard on behalf of the African American Heritage Society, to cover a significantly larger period beginning with the Continent of Africa, and continuing to the present, including current events, which are credited as the catalyst for the present social justice awakening.

Please Note:  All information contained in the Exhibit is based upon non-disputed historical records and the exhibit is NOT designed to advocate nor indoctrinate. The purpose of the exhibit is to Educate on American History. Sources for any and all content available on request. Please email: aahspensacola@gmail.com for historical source requests and reading recommendations.

The Exhibit is available (immediately below) on our website for cursory touring.


 Stated in an address to the National Urban League in 1946:

"We must make every effort [to ensure] that the past injustice, violence and economic discrimination will be made known to the people."

"The taboo, the 'let's-not-talk-about-it' must be broken."

  Albert Einstein

To learn more about Mr. Einstein's commitment to Social Justice


Achieving Social Justice through Education

The African American Heritage Society was founded upon the belief that in order to achieve social justice, we must begin with an informed and educated citizenry. This is why our mission statement, actions through our programming, and events over the decades have all been undergirded by education. Our Lecture Series, which has been very popular will continue, and this year we will seek to educate by providing a more complete history of America and it's relationship with Americans of African descent.

We know that American History, as taught in the U.S. school system is incomplete. It often leaves out important people, facts, and details, which if included could improve our collective understanding of how we as a nation have arrived at this particular moment in time, yet again. That moment in time that I refer to is this country's collective reckoning with the many social injustices that continue to exist within the everyday framework of our lives. There are emphatically dual systems of engagement for people of different "races" within this one country. How did that happen? We will answer that question and more this season by providing an historical context to the questions: How did African Americans arrive in America? When? For what purpose? What atrocities have we been legally subjected to? How have we survived? What contributions have we made despite the odds? What is the current state of this 'union'?

We sincerely believe that the best way to effect change is not to ignore historical facts and wish them away, but to face those historical facts soberly, and intentionally, no matter how dark and difficult to accept. By doing this, we operate from the position of knowledge, rather than ignorance, as the former yields greater understanding and a resulting lack of tolerance for injustice. 

Please visit our co-sponsored exhibit, "Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow", with the University of West Florida's Historic Trust, that opened in November 2020, at Voices of Pensacola, and where it remained for approximately six monthsThe Exhibit is now on display at ARTEL GALLERY, located at 223 Palafox Street, Pensacola.

Our "More Complete" American History lecture series was implemented in conjunction with the exhibit over the course of several months. We look forward to rebroadcasting several lectures during the summer online.



Do you recognize the people or history associated with the events depicted below? Their significance to American History along with many other people, places, and American historical facts will be explored and taught about as part of our Black Citizenship in the age of Jim Crow exhibit.


Board of Directors

President - Angela McCorvey, Ph.D.

Dayle Hawthorn, M. D.

Rev. Edward Hayes

Chris Hendricks

Marion Williams, Ph.D,

Keya Wiggins, Ph.D.


                  Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder:  Dr. Cheryl Howard



Laurel Boyd, Ph.D.

Jim Boyd, M.D.

Saundra Daggs

The Late Leon Daggs

Dr. and Mrs. Lamont Canada

The Late Judge and Mrs. Howard Bennett

Dr. Lornetta T. Epps, Co-Founder

*You may also become a founding circle life-time member, click on membership above for details.

Acknowledgements:  Thank you to High School History Teacher Dashaun McKenzie who contributed to our May 2021 Newsletter, with the history of "Florida's Emancipation Day." This is the only externally submitted contribution that we have had in many years and we look forward to other history submissions by Mr. McKenzie in the future. 

One Moment Please!

If you would like to see more programming like this, and those events that are listed above under our Chronological History and Record of Events, please click on membership to join us, or donate to make a contribution. WE ARE A UNITED WAY OF WEST FLORIDA CERTIFIED AGENCY.


Donations ID: CH2065                                                  ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

Introducing our DOCENT PROGRAM

Docent -  a person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum or art gallery. However, a stipend will be paid to our docents in consideration of their time. 

We have had many phone calls and emails from members of the community who would like to serve as hosts, museum greeters,  tour guides or volunteers generally with our More Complete American History Exhibit, "Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow," and we are delighted.  Therefore, we will maintain a list of individuals who are interested in the next training, date to be determined. Meanwhile, please email us at:  aahspensacola@gmail.com to notify us of your interest. Please remember to include the following in your email:


Telephone Number

Preferred mailing address

Preferred email address

Your days of availability, i.e. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday, for three (3) hour shifts.

Also, would you prefer to start in the morning at 9:45 AM or in the afternoon beginning at 2 PM.


Permanent Exhibit


The African Presence in the Americas from the year 1492  

This Gallery Exhibit was acquired from The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture which is located at and generously supported by The New York Public Library.

This exhibit was paid for in part with an Arts Program grant provided by the Pensacola Chapter of The Links, Inc.

BELOW:  Slideshow of attendees at some of our Programs:


1)  What does "Jim Crow" mean and how was it used in Florida. The video, "Jim Crow in Florida" is provided by the Florida Humanities Council and provides educational information as to the meaning of "Jim Crow", how it evolved, its' purposes, and more. (Watch below).


African American Heritage Society's Founding Circle Member 

and Past Vice President of the Board of Directors

Mr. Leon Daggs

February 12, 1941 - March 26, 2021

Upcoming events

It is with heavy hearts that we say farewell to our most esteemed Founding Circle Lifetime Member, Mr. Leon Daggs, Jr.

Mr. Daggs served as a Member of the African American Heritage Society's Board of Director's in 1996, 1997, and 2006. He then served as Vice-President of the Board for six (6) additional years from 2007 - 2012. We remember him fondly as he selflessly shared his wisdom and insight with the organization, and we believe that his leadership helped to propel the Society into the vibrant organization that we are today as we approach thirty-one (31) years.

Mr. Daggs never ceased his philanthropic support of this, his beloved organization, as he has without need for recognition nor fanfare, co-sponsored a recent past season.

We remain in adoration of Mr. Daggs' long list of achievements against the odds and continue in awe as we recall the joy and dignity with which he comported himself as he went about his Board commitments. His success as a Ford dealership owner, with dealerships in several states, demonstrated his dedication to hard work and earned him awards from Chrysler and Ford Motor Company, the Minority Dealers Association, and many others, including ranking among Black Enterprise Magazine's Top 100 Automobile Dealers for more than 25 years, reaching as high as number nine (9) on the list of 100.

We recognize that Mr. Daggs was also propelled to greatness by the love and support of his dear surviving spouse, the beautiful and talented Saundra Stills Daggs, and their beloved son Christopher.

We offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. Leon Daggs and are thankful to have had the opportunity to serve with him in this organization and to bear witness to his spirit of excellence, exhibited with humility and grace.            Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

The Late Leon Daggs and his Beloved Wife of 56 years, Saundra Stills Daggs

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Sponsored By:



Lectures sponsored in part by the JOHN C. PACE lecture series.


The African American Heritage Society of Pensacola, Florida has served the region for the past twenty-nine years. Our Mission is to preserve, promote and integrate African American history, heritage, culture and diversity in the greater Northwest Florida region and to promote cultural tourism. 

We are a 501 (c) (3) organization founded September 12, 1990. During this time, we have brought an array of artists, scholars and historians to Pensacola to celebrate African American heritage.

Through quality programming, the African American Heritage Society has offered retrospective exhibits in the visual arts and humanities, performing arts programs, films and educational lectures, all highlighting a broad spectrum of the African Americans' unique and creative contributions to American life.

Current Exhibit

American History Exhibit, “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow”



223 Palafox Street

Pensacola, FL 32502

Now Open!!! 

Tuesday         10 AM to 4 PM

Wednesday   10 AM to 4 PM and 5 PM to 7 PM (with music)

Thursday        10 AM to 4 PM

Friday              10 AM to 4PM

Saturday         10 AM to 4 PM and 5 PM to 7 PM (with music)

To request a private group tour with history discussion, for a fee, please email:  society@aahspensacola.org

Address:    (Alternate Address in use during COVID and to display our Current Exhibit - See Above)

Historic District

The Coulson House

200 Church Street | Pensacola, Florida 32502

Email: aahspensacola@gmail.com (Preferred Contact)

(850) 469-1456