FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – History Fort Lauderdale, steward of the community’s past by making heritage accessible and engaging to residents and visitors, will honor the contributions and creativity of the African American community during its annual Black History Month celebration.
This year’s events will include a Dillard Center for the Arts’ Advanced Placement (AP) student exhibition and sale, with an opportunity to meet the artists and guest curator/instructor Celestin Joseph, on Sunday, Feb. 2, from 1 – 3 p.m.; and the global launch/book signing of “From My Jamaican Gully to the World,” a memoir, by writer and environmentalist Audrey Wright Peterman on Tuesday, Feb. 4 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Living on their sailboat at Cooley’s Marina just west of History Fort Lauderdale, Audrey Peterman and her husband Frank wrote and spoke proliﬁcally for seven years about the environmental challenges and opportunities facing South Florida and the nation. The Petermans have been advocates for the protection of America’s National Parks and publicly-owned lands for more than two decades. They have challenged land managers and successive administrations to do more to include Americans of color as visitors, employees and supporters.
In “From My Jamaican Gully to the World,” Peterman writes about the formative influences in the Jamaican countryside that gave her the conﬁdence to continue to work to make change in the environmental sector. Going back to her roots, Peterman delves into “old time” Jamaica in a way that will delight audiences that remember those day and intrigue those for whom they are new.
The book is a history of the environmental movement from the perspective of a black leader, and a guide to positively influence responses to the climate crisis. Peterman’s efforts have been recognized with various awards including Environmental Hero Award 2000 from Vice President Al Gore and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Outstanding Citizen Advocate Award from the National Parks Conservation Association; (1998) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Outdoor Afro, (2017.)
In addition to History Fort Lauderdale’s annual Black History Month celebration, visitors of all ages will enjoy the new “The Bryans of Fort Lauderdale” permanent exhibit which allows guests to experience the story of the City of Fort Lauderdale as told through the pioneer family that shaped its development from an agricultural outpost in 1896 to a bustling city in the 1920s to its current status as a leading Metropolis, “Juliette Lange: A Portrait of a Mezzo Soprano,” a fashion and lifestyle glimpse of the socially prominent Fort Lauderdale resident with a lauded career as a star vocalist of musical comedy, plus “Archaeology of the New River” and a multitude of narratives and photos sharing the history of other founding families of Fort Lauderdale.
Entry to the show and sale is free with general admission: $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and $7 for students (through age 22 with a valid student ID). Admission is always free for members, military and children ages six and under.
To RSVP for the Dillard Center for the Arts’ student artist meet and greet, visit bit.ly/DillardArtistsMeet2020. To RSVP for the global book launch of Audrey Wright Peterman’s “From My Jamaican Gully to the World,” visit bit.ly/AWrightPetermanBook. For tickets and other information about History Fort Lauderdale, call 954-463-4431 or visit historyfortlauderdale.org.