Members of the West Augustine community are unhappy with Central Florida Rep. Bruce Antone’s online comments about St. Augustine and town’s proposed location for the statewide Florida Black History Museum.

Part of the post read: “They decided that a former slave plantation, a constant reminder of slavery, poverty and suffering, was an appropriate site for a museum to commemorate the achievements and achievements of Black people and Caribbean immigrants.”

West Augustine Redevelopment Agency President Robert Nimmons expressed disappointment with Antone’s statement on Facebook, which said Northeast Florida politicians were trying to “steal and cooperate with my project and vision for my Black History museum.”

According to Central Florida Rep. posted his thoughts a day after a gathering in Tallahassee to evaluate the 4 finalist cities where the museum is positioned.

West Augustine community members are upset that Central Florida Rep. Bruce Antone posted online a few disturbing chapter in St. Augustine’s history. Augustine and the planned location of a statewide Black History Museum.

— WOKV News (@WOKVNews) April 25, 2024

“When I saw the Facebook post, it took me back,” Nimmons said. “It was very disappointing when I saw it.”

Antone said that “political leaders in Northeast Florida” want to “build a small $20 million slavery museum on a former slave plantation (i.e. Kingsley Plantation) in St. Augustine, Florida,” which he says is “not easily accessible.” Antone criticized Black leaders who support what he described as a “silly, whitewashed” museum and stated that their $20 million project devalues ​​Black History compared to his concept of constructing a $75-100 million world-class museum in Orlando , which showcases and celebrates Black and Caribbean communities.

The place proposed by St. Augustine is owned by Florida Memorial University and, according to Antone, was previously a slave plantation, a fact confirmed by local historian David Nolan, who revealed that the plantation was owned by Colonel John Hanson before the Civil War.

“The disturbing truth about the property’s past supports the case for moving the museum to St. Johns,” said Regina Gayle Philips of the Florida Museum of Black History Task Force:

The task force placed St. Augustine among the many 4 most incessantly chosen museum locations, together with Eatonville, where Antone serves as a state representative. Exhibition concepts will include Black achievements in science, engineering, technology, African civilizations and architecture.

West Augustine’s response resulted in Antone’s post being faraway from Facebook. A gathering is scheduled for May 24 to determine the ultimate location of the museum.

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