JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman created a fun way for her son to learn about African American history by creating a landmark scavenger hunt.
Brittany O’Neal told News4Jax she travels a lot and is always looking for something fun and new to do.
“I started searching for something the two of us could do one weekend and realized what American Beach was and how close it was to us,” O’Neal said. “I realized how much African American history is in our backyards that a lot of people may not know about. And history can be as fun as we make it.”
After visiting American Beach, the only beach in Florida that welcomed black Americans and offered safe, secure overnight accommodations during Jim Crow segregation, O’Neal started searching for other historic places and landmarks to visit, hence the name “African American History Landmark Scavenger Hunt.”
“I travel, so I’m willing to go further. But for those that do not travel, explore your backyards, and teach your kids something positive and historic," O’Neal said. "I think if Jacksonville starts with it first, this can easily become a statewide activity. Again, making history fun and positive.”
Here are a few landmarks you can visit to learn about African American history:
- American Beach
- Edward Waters College
- Bethel Baptist Church
- James Weldon Johnson Park (formerly Hemming Plaza)
- Bob Hayes Park
- The Ritz Theatre
- Kingsley Plantation
- Brewster Hospital
- Moncrief Cemetery District
O’Neal is encouraging the community to add to the list of locations. If you and your family visit any of the listed landmarks, take pictures and post them to social media using the hashtag #bblrtravel and #duvalaah (Duval African American History) to create awareness and trending topics.