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Civil Rights in the Sunshine State exhibit debuts at St. Pete Museum of History

Often overlooked by the events in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, Florida played a major role in the nation’s Civil Rights movement. Sit-ins, wade-ins, Freedom Rides, and marches, as well as lawsuits that changed how the St. Petersburg police department was run, Floridians experienced it all. Those stories are told in Civil Rights in the Sunshine State – a collection of over 100 photographs, storyboards and artifacts – opens Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10am in the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

New Civil Rights exhibit opens at Museum of History

Entering the exhibit through the St. Petersburg African American Heritage Trail, visitors will first experience the events that took place in St. Petersburg. The bravery of the Courageous 12, actions of key figures such as Dr. Ralph and C. Bette Wimbish, Rev. Enoch Davis, and Joseph Savage, as well as the protests on Spa Beach, Spa Pool, and at lunch counters on Central Avenue.

The St. Petersburg Museum of History – celebrating 101 years of sharing stories of the Sunshine City – is located at 335 2nd Avenue NE on the St. Pete Pier. Hours are 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday and Noon-5pm on Sundays.

Made possible through funding from 400 Central

Made possible with funding by the Residences 400 Central and the Red Apple Group, Civil Rights in the Sunshine State is on loan from the Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee and will run through June 8.

“It is a privilege to sponsor this important exhibit at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. The Residences at 400 Central won’t just be another new building in St. Pete, it will be a shining example of my family’s passion for the community,” said Red Apple Group CEO John Castimatidis. “That’s why I bought a unit there and it’s why we support local institutions, organizations, and causes.”

The Red Apple Group didn’t hesitate to support this exhibition when Farias approached them about.

Celebrating and honoring the history of the Sunshine City

“It’s the right thing to do,  and we’re proud to support efforts that shine a light on the civil rights movement and African American history,” said Kevin King, a representative with Red Apple Group. King says that CEO John Castimatidis recognizes how significant our cultural assets are in St. Pete.

Previous to this exhibition at the St. Pete Museum of History, Red Apple Group has supported the Juneteenth Celebration at the Woodson African American Museum, and was a title sponsor for the Florida Craft Art Festival and the Halloween on Central open streets event.

“It’s important to be a part of the community in any way that you can,” added King.

400 Central and Red Apple Group is also in the process of meticulously restoring a 100-year-old pedestal clock that once stood on the corner of Central Avenue and 5th Street. The clock will be installed at the site once the restoration is complete.

Visit the museum’s website for more information.