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Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924, Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924, 0817309152, 0-8173-0915-2, 978-0-8173-0915-2, 9780817309152, , , Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924, 0817309160, 0-8173-0916-0, 978-0-8173-0916-9, 9780817309169,

Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924
by Canter Brown , Jr.

Quality Paper
1998. 312 pp.
Price:  $34.95 s

This ground-breaking study reveals the magnitude and impact of African American leadership in Florida during the post-Civil War era.

Canter Brown's statewide study of African American leadership in Florida from the closing days of the Civil War until the last two members of a racially integrated town council left office in 1924 reveals that as many as 1,000 African Americans were influential officeholders and powerful Florida politicians. Not merely a local occurrence, this leadership was inspired by the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) and was later supported by a national labor organization, the Knights of Labor. Brown not only focuses on the broader significance of these leaders but also provides a personal glimpse at their challenges and accomplishments, revealing the human side of their leadership and examining who they were, where they came from, what kinds of experiences they had, and what happened to them.

Not merely a local or regionalized study, this is the first statewide study of African American public officials in Florida. In addition to providing context and a historical narrative of black leadership in post-Civil War Florida, this work includes an extensive biographical directory of more than 600 officeholders, containing brief biographical sketches and more than 40 portraits. Brown also includes an appendix of officials by political subdivision, providing an excellent reference work for several disciplines.

Brown ably demonstrates that blacks were major forces in Florida politics, who labored against increasingly difficult odds to maintain a voice in public affairs.


Canter Brown, Jr., is Historian in Residence at the Tampa Bay History Center and author of Fort Meade, 1849-1900, also published by The University of Alabama Press.


"Canter Brown, Jr., utilizes primary sources not previously considered by historians to show that blacks in Florida held public office beyond Reconstruction and well into the 20th century. . . . This is an exciting and thoroughly researched study that should be of interest to students of African American and American history, Florida history, history of the South, and political science."
—Larry E. Rivers, Florida A&M University

"Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924 is important both as a narrative of an often overlooked aspect of Florida's history and as a tool for further research in the area of African American contributions."
—Tracy J. Revels, Wofford College