Task force selects St. Augustine as home for Florida Black History Museum

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The task force charged with picking a location for a new Florida Black History Museum has decided to recommend St. Augustine as the museum’s home.


An architect professor from FAMU told the task force the cost of the museum could top $100 million.

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Three possible locations were before the task force charged with selecting the home of a Florida Black History Museum Tuesday afternoon.

Eatonville and St. Augustine received the most attention form task force members.

St. Augustine placed number one overall in the rankings filled out by task force members back in April.

However, that placement received criticism, due to the rankings filled out by State Representative and task force member Kiyan Michael (R-Jacksonville Beach), who gave the St. Augustine site a perfect score.

That pushed the St. Augustine site, which is within her district, just above Eatonville.

Michael also scored Eatonville lower than other task force members.

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The situation led to a debate Tuesday over whether or not the task force should throw out the highest and lowest scores for each location.

“So that you don’t put yourself in a position where you have one person manipulating the process to tank a proposal,” said State Senator and Task Force Chair Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando).

Michael rejected any suggestion she intentionally tanked Eatonville’s score.

“I think the media coverage that’s been put on this selection process, it does come across as intimidating and a form of bullying,” said Michael.

After initially declining to vote on a finalist, a member of the task force called for a vote to accept the results of the rankings and select St. Augustine as the recommended location.

RELATED: Florida representative receiving backlash from online post over planned Black History Museum

On a 5/4 vote, the task force approved the motion, naming St. Augustine as its recommended location to house the Florida Black History Museum.

The next steps will include a feasibility study.

The task force needs to publish a report with its final findings and recommendations by the end of June.

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