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Homenews‘A tremendous opportunity;’ West Augustine residents push to create local African American...

‘A tremendous opportunity;’ West Augustine residents push to create local African American museum – Action News Jax


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Organizers want to bring a museum focusing on Black History in Florida to the West Augustine community, but the plan must first be approved by Florida lawmakers.

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“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” Robert Nimmons with the West Augustine CRA Steering Committee said.

The West Augustine community could be getting a Florida Black Museum.

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Nimmons said this is something the community needs.

“It will bring a lot of exposure St. Augustine and St. Johns County.”

Nimmons said right now there is a competition between several Florida cities, including West Augustine, to determine where this museum will go.

Related Story: St. Johns County asking community for support in proposed Florida museum of Black History

“We know that St. Petersburg put in a bid for it. We know Nassau County put in a bid for it. We know a bid came in the Orlando area as well,” Nimmons said.

Nimmons said this is the former site of Florida Memorial College.

He even says the school still owns hundreds of acres across this street. that’s where they want the museum to go, and it’s a reason why.

“They’re looking for land to put the museum on. Also just a good tourism site for the museum to have a pop to it, they are looking for good history,” Nimmons said.

According to Greg White, who is an advocate for historic West Augustine,

Florida Memorial College was big in the black and West Augustine community before it moved in the ‘60s.

White added that certain civil rights activists like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., visited the campus to help pave the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“It was big and so powerful that it kind of just changed the whole complexion of historic West Augustine,” White said.

According to Nimmons, this survey has been created to get the community input on the idea, and the results will go back to Florida lawmakers, there is no timetable for when a decision will be made on this museum.

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“Hopefully with our lawmakers pushing the envelope, it will soon come here,” Nimmons said.

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