Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience

The Journey of the Journey Exhibition

photo_11 - rsThe Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience exhibition debuted during the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and opened on Jan. 20, 2014, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The exhibition closed on July 15, 2014. The award-winning exhibition, which showcased the important role African-Americans played in the historical and cultural development of America, was on display for six months at the Visitor Information Center in downtown St. Augustine. During that time, thousands of people and hundreds of groups toured the exhibition and experienced firsthand the authentic objects, original documents, powerful photographs and interactive elements that depicted the journey African-Americans experienced from our country’s beginnings until today.

Journey: The Guests
The exhibition touched the hearts of many and welcomed Civil Rights Movement demonstrators and their family members, including J.T. Johnson, Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. Robert Hayling as well as Award-Winning Author and Columnist Leonard Pitts and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s secretary.

The guest feedback for the exhibition was widely acclaimed. Guests travelled throughout the nation to see the exhibition, and this is what they had to say:

Let the truth be told and let the history inspire. – New Jersey
No words… Thank you. – St. Augustine, Florida
Excellent exhibit! – Williamsburg, Virginia
So many memories returned. – Jacksonville, Florida
Great experience for the kids. – Orlando, Florida
Respectfully shown. – St. Augustine, Florida
Amazing history. Protect for generations to come. – New York
Historic. Factual. Liberating. – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
What a great joy to learn from the past. – Texas
Revealing, inspiring and beautifully presented! –Ontario, New York
Excellent exhibit! –
Miami, Florida
Everyone must see! –
St. Augustine, Florida
Thank you for saving history.
-Humble, Texas
Wonderful! Spent four hours here.
-Ann Arbor, Michigan
Overwhelming on so many levels. Thank you.
-St. Augustine, Florida
Saw my aunt in the Emancipation Parade [photo]. –
Olathe, Kansas
Please continue to showcase African-American history! –
Jacksonville, Florida
Gave me chills. Thankful and privileged. –
Seattle, Washington
Unbelievable…we’ve come a long way. -Jacksonville, Florida
Brought back sad and happy memories. -Colorado
Very informative. Learned something new. -Jacksonville, Florida
Everyone should see this. Absolutely essential. -Canada
Incredibly powerful displays. Inspiring bravery of youngsters. –Vermont

Journey: Next Destination
What’s next for the Journey exhibition? Many pieces of the Journey exhibition will be used in the Tapestry: The Cultural Threads of First America exhibition, which is the signature exhibition of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary year and shares the story of how three intertwining cultures – Hispanics, Africans and Native Americans – came together to form the foundation of the American culture and created the blended society of today’s St. Augustine. Many of the objects not utilized in the Tapestry exhibition will be displayed in multiple venues throughout the community. Learn more about the Tapestry exhibition.

Journey: The Documentary
A version of the documentary created for the Journey exhibition is now being aired on local television stations and in schools throughout the United States. Learn more about the documentary.

Journey: In Appreciation
The Journey exhibition was an undertaking that brought together a dedicated team to make it happen. The exhibition would not have been possible without the efforts and support of many individuals and organizations including the City of St. Augustine Commission, 2014 Commemoration Advisory Council members, City of St. Augustine staff, more than 30 dedicated volunteers, vendors, designers, artists, organizations that loaned objects for the exhibition, Journey passport program destinations, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the St. Johns County Tourism Development Council. Thank you to everyone who played a role in the Journey exhibition.

Here’s a recap of the Journey exhibition through photos.



2014 Commemoration Advisory Council

The 2014 Commemoration Advisory Council members include Thomas Jackson, Gregory McLeod, John Berry, James Bullock, Kari Cobham, Elizabeth Duncan, Charles Ellis, Tameka Hobbs, Marsha Holmes, J.T. Johnson, Otis Mason, Natacha McLeod and Barbara Vickers.