The Sankofa bird pictured here reminds us that we must continue to move forward as we remember our past.

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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 and Upcoming Programs

Pensacola History Talk:
April 27,2019 from 2:00 p.m to 3:15 p.m. 

The Influence of African Americans on Spanish Pensacola From DeLuna 1559 to 1821 

Whether you are new to Pensacola, have lived here all your life, or somewhere in between, we know that you will learn much from attending our History Talk that will be presented by local historian, Dr. Marion Williams.​

 Dr. Williams, retired educator of the Escambia County School District,  received an A.A.-PJC, B.S.-UWF, Masters in Ed.- FAMU and Ph.D. degree from Florida State University. Marion attended the local schools – Mrs. Lillie James, (Dr.) J. Lee Pickens Elementary, Brown Barge Elementary, and the Booker T. Washington Jr. and Senior High Schools. Marion is the great nephew of Spencer Bibbs, and two schools are in his family: Goulding Elementary (McMillan Center) and Spencer Bibbs Elementary (Spencer Bibbs Educational Center).

Marion has received numerous awards including the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for 30 years of community service from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge, Pensacola Chapter in 2018. Since retirement, he has become a local historian and published author of: “The Historic Colored or Negro City Public School: 1885-2008, 3rd  Ed., The History of the Fricker Recreational Center and the History of Bruce Pool and Bruce Dry Dock Company: 1919-1975”, and he co-authored the “450th Celebration of Pensacola History (2009).”

Marion is married to Claudia M. McMillan Williams now celebrating 48 years. They have raised two children: Marion Charles, Enterprise Architect, Md. and Allison C. Williams, Esq., New Jersey who owns her family law firm: Williams Law Group, LLC.

Currently, Marion is a volunteer, mentor and tutor of Pre-K – 12th graders at the Woodland Heights Resource Center. He is active with the UWF Historic Trust, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Golden Rule Foundation, Inc., The Ella Jordan Home Restoration Committee, N.A.A.C.P-Life Member, and the Knights of St. Peter Claver of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and he is a Board Member of the African American Heritage Society and the Gen. Chappie James Museum of Pensacola.

Please join us! Admission is $5.00 for Society Members and $10.00 for non-members, payable at the door.
Refreshments will be served.

Location: African American Heritage Society Center
                         The Historic Coulson House
                         200 Church Street
                         Pensacola, Florida 32501

Reservations preferred. (850) 469-1456

African American Heritage Society
Partners with Dickerson Literacy Initiatives to
Provide Books to 4th Graders at
O.J. Semmes Elementary School

Executive Director Cheryl Howard read and narrated the story of Harriet Tubman to the 4th grade students of O. J. Semmes Elementary School on Wednesday,  April 17, 2019. The children were delightful and seemed to thoroughly enjoy and learn from the presentation. At the end of the presentation, Dr. Howard presented a book to each of the students in 4th grade and left a copy for the school library. The cost of the books was underwritten by the African American Heritage Society members and Board.
Highlights from the Reader's Ensemble Event of March 23, 2019
Frances Gray and Reita Paul 
Our Co-Sponsors of this Reader's Ensemble Program, "Remembering the Harlem Renaissance"  are the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., represented by (on right side) Mrs. Reita Paul and (on left side) Mrs. Frances Gray, who is also a Patron Member of the African American Heritage Society along with her husband Mr. Ellsworth P. Gray.
Honoree Mamie Hixon
Ms. Hixon is joined by her Sorors of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Iota Omega Chapter, as she is presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a check from the African American Heritage Society.

Pictured above from left to right are Honoree Orastine Wills, African American Heritage Society Executive Director Cheryl Howard, and Honoree Mamie Hixon. 

The Reader's Ensemble Program was a terrific success again this year. The Voices of Pensacola venue was resplendent with the addition of our many guests and Reader Performers. Prior to the event, a lovely and delicious cocktail reception was enjoyed by all,  prepared by Five Sisters Blues Cafe Restaurant located in the Belmont Deviller's area.  

Our program included self written poetry and short stories, read by the authors, ranging from twenty-one years of age to octogenarians. The readers were engaging as many of the writings were somber, while others were lighthearted and bright, and all were indisputably fantastic. All the readings with the exception of the tribute to the Harlem Renaissance Period, were taken from one of the six (6) publications of the Society, "When Black Folks Was Colored". The title was given by local college professor and resident Grammarian Mamie Hixon, recognizing the incorrect verb form of "was" versus "were" as a reminder of the Jim Crow era when African Americans were referred to as "Colored".

Autographed copies of all six books are available for purchase at the Society ranging in price from $10 to $15. Please call or email the society at the contact information listed below if you wish to make a purchase. The autographed copies are treasured limited editions and are selling fast, so do not delay. They are each signed by both Ora Wills and Mamie Hixon, both of whom began editing our books in 1994 and continue to do so, when requested.

Thank you to the members of our Board of Directors, Dr Lornetta Epps, Dr. Angela McCorvey, Dr. Gael Frazer, Attorney Fred Gant, Dr. Marion Williams, Dr. Keya Wiggins, Mrs. Doris Munoz, Mr. Leon Stubbs, and Board Members who also worked as Technical Support, Mr. Christopher Hendricks and Mr. Brunie Emmanuel along with Friends of the Society Mr. Bill Caplinger and Mr. Erik Peterson.
Honoree Ora Wills
Orastine Wills, her daughter Angela, and close friends join her as she is presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a check from the African American Heritage Society.
Our 2018- 2019 Season of  Programs and Events

March 23, 2019 Program

An Evening With the Reader's Ensemble

The African American Heritage Society and the Delta Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will present “An Evening with The Readers Ensemble”, on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Center, located at 117 East Government Street, Pensacola, Florida 32502.

This program will feature readings from “When Black Folks Was Colored” and a special tribute to the Harlem Renaissance.  This is an extra special occasion because we will also pay tribute to Pensacola literary legend, Ms. Ora Wills and the phenomenal Grammarian Ms. Mamie Hixon, who were both editors of African American Heritage Society publications, “When Black Folks Was Colored” and “Images in Black”. Ms. Hixon and Ms. Wills began editing our books in1994 and have continued to do so.

There will be a reception at 4:00 p.m. followed by the program at 5:00 pm.  A suggested donation of $10 is appreciated to support this and other African American Heritage Society programs.

For Reservations:
Copy and paste the link below to your web browser to purchase your tickets on Eventbrite:

  1. Executive Director - Cheryl Howard
    Executive Director - Cheryl Howard
  2. The Green Book
    The Green Book
Brunch and Learn: The Green Book
Saturday, February 23, 2019 2:00 p.m. 

Discussion and Panel:

What is the Green Book? How was it used? Why was it used? And more!

Executive Director of the African American Heritage Society, Cheryl Howard will give an historical overview of the Green Book. 

A panel of Pensacolians who traveled throughout the U.S. using the Green Book will share their experiences and discuss the Green Book places in Pensacola and around the country where they stayed during the 1930's through the 1960's. Some of the personal recollections and experiences exceed what is noted in the Green Book.

Copies of Green Books from various years will be available.

Fee: $10.00 non-members -  $ 5.00 members

Space is limited - reservations required.

Reservations should be made by emailing [email protected] or call (850) 469-1456. Refreshments will be provided!

African American Heritage Center - 200 E. Church Street Pensacola, FL 32502 
Gallery Talk: Dr. Don Shirley and the Green Book Movie
Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:00p.m. 

The African American Heritage Society and the University of West Florida will present Gallery Talk:  Don Shirley and The Real Green Book Story, by Arica L. Coleman, Ph.D., Saturday, January 12, 2019, 5:00 pm at the J. Earle Bowden Center Classroom, 120 East Church Street, Pensacola, Florida 32502.​​

​Dr. Coleman is an award winning, nationally recognized American historian whose research focuses on comparative ethnic studies of racial formation and identity.  

Reception to follow at Voices of Pensacola. 

Reservations requested. Please respond via our website or call (850) 469-1456


November 3rd and 4th, 2018
Foo Foo Festival Events:
Children's Workshop on Saturday, Nov 3rd
Hagler Auditorium Performance Sunday, Nov 4th 

The African American Heritage Society will present Storyteller’s Circle: “The Gullah Experience With Aunt Pearlie Sue”.

Anita Singleton-Prather is a Gullah advocate, entertainer and master storyteller.  She brings Gullah culture to countless people through “Aunt Pearlie Sue” a character inspired by her grandmother. Prather has performed at many festivals, including the Spoleto USA in Charleston; appeared in the film Forest Gump and on the Food Network program Christmas Across America. Her one-woman show, Tales from the Land of Gullah, has been broadcast on PBS and she has performed at the White House during the tenure of President Clinton. She has travelled extensively in the United States and abroad to tell the story of the Gullah history, language, arts and heritage.

This year’s festival will consist of two events:
Saturday, November 3, 2018, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, at Ebonwood Community Center, 3511 W. Scott Street, children of all ages are invited to participate in experiencing the Gullah folk traditions through oral stories, arts, crafts and interactive presentations with Aunt Pearlie Sue.
Admission is FREE.

Sunday, November 4, 2018, 4 pm, at Pensacola State College, Hagler Auditorium, Underwood Avenue; Anita Singleton- Prather, master storyteller, will bring the Gullah culture to life through her character Aunt Pearlie Sue!  General Admission - $15; Students $7 with ID; PSC Students FREE with ID.