Campus & Community

PBSC helps tell the story of Florida’s Seminole Alliance

Olsen-Oliver at the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners meeting

Palm Beach State College partnered with the Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc. to bring the 185th Seminole Reunion to Palm Beach County.

The Jan. 11 – 15, 2023 reunion, which featured local tours, symposiums, films, historical recitations and spiritual remembrances, recounted how the two battles of the Loxahatchee River turned the tide of the 40-yearlong assault on native and African Seminole freedom on the Florida peninsula and led to the capture and deportation of these people on the deadly Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.

On Jan. 12 and 13, Meldon Hall on the Palm Beach Gardens campus was the site of the “Voices in the Wind” symposium and the Education Day Conference both featuring language, literature and music discussions, as well as historical recitations of Powell’s Battle and Jessup’s Battle.  Sessions also delved into the lasting impact of these events throughout history.  There was also a film screening of “Black Border Warriors” followed by a question-and-answer session with a key contributor to the film’s production.  The reunion continued on Saturday and Sunday at the Loxahatchee Battlefield Park.

On Jan. 10, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners proclaimed Jan. 11 – 15, 2023 as Seminole Maroon Remembrance Days.  Tracey Olsen-Oliver, interim dean of student services on the Palm Beach Gardens campus, was honored to represent Palm Beach State College during the commissioners meeting when the proclamation was formally announced and awarded to FBHRP.

The reunion was organized after FBHRP received a generous grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to bring to light lost and forgotten American histories beyond the colonizer’s narratives and to tell the full history of Florida’s powerful Seminole Alliance.

PBSC staff who contributed and helped organize the events were:  Robin Dean, associate administrative assistant; Jyrece McClendon, dean of Academic Affairs (interim); Johnny Daniels, facilities manager; Mike Clancy, client services manager; and Jordan Lewis, art gallery specialist.

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