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African American Heritage Society's Founding Circle Member 

and Past Vice President of the Board of Directors

Mr. Leon Daggs

February 12, 1941 - March 26, 2021

It is with heavy hearts that we say farewell to our most esteemed Founding Circle Lifetime Member, Mr. Leon Daggs, Jr.

Mr. Daggs served as a Member of the African American Heritage Society's Board of Director's in 1996, 1997, and 2006. He then served as Vice-President of the Board for six (6) additional years from 2007 - 2012. We remember him fondly as he selflessly shared his wisdom and insight with the organization, and we believe that his leadership helped to propel the Society into the vibrant organization that we are today as we approach thirty-one (31) years.

Mr. Daggs never ceased his philanthropic support of this, his beloved organization, as he has without need for recognition nor fanfare, co-sponsored a recent past season.

We remain in adoration of Mr. Daggs' long list of achievements against the odds and continue in awe as we recall the joy and dignity with which he comported himself as he went about his Board commitments. His success as a Ford dealership owner, with dealerships in several states, demonstrated his dedication to hard work and earned him awards from Chrysler and Ford Motor Company, the Minority Dealers Association, and many others, including ranking among Black Enterprise Magazine's Top 100 Automobile Dealers for more than 25 years, reaching as high as number nine (9) on the list of 100.

We recognize that Mr. Daggs was also propelled to greatness by the love and support of his dear surviving spouse, the beautiful and talented Saundra Stills Daggs, and their beloved son Christopher.

We offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. Leon Daggs and are thankful to have had the opportunity to serve with him in this organization and to bear witness to his spirit of excellence, exhibited with humility and grace.                    

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

The Late Leon Daggs and his Beloved Wife of 56 years, Saundra Stills Daggs


Celebrating Diversity for Thirty (30) Years.

The African American Heritage Society, Inc. was founded September 12,1990 as a 501(c) 3 organization and has operated continuously with vision and purpose for thirty (30) years. 

Our mission is to preserve, promote, educate and integrate African American history, heritage, culture and diversity, in Pensacola and the Greater Gulf Coast Region through education and the humanities, and to continue to lead the area in supporting and promoting Cultural Tourism in Northwest Florida.

Through quality programming, the African American Heritage Society ("the Society") has offered retrospective exhibits in the visual arts and humanities, performing arts programs, cultural festivals, as well as educational lectures, all highlighting a broad spectrum of the African American unique and creative influences and contributions to American life. 

Please click the link above entitled 'chronological history & record of events' for a listing of the many transformative presentations that we have presented in Pensacola and the surrounding Greater Gulf Coast Region.

The Historic "Coulson House" was built in 1865 and has been the Headquarters of the African American Heritage Society for twenty (20) years. Prior to our location here, we were at the Pensacola Cultural Center, also in the Historical District, from 1990 to 2000. The above photo is of the entrance to the Gallery.

Non Discrimination Statement:

The African American Heritage Society, Inc. was also founded upon the principles of diversity and inclusion. The Society does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, nor disability. Employment opportunities, membership, attendance and access to our center, gallery, programs, and events are open to ALL, and we invite you to join us.

Introducing our DOCENT PROGRAM

Docent -  a person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum or art gallery.

We have had many phone calls and emails from members of the community who would like to serve as hosts, museum greeters,  tour guides or volunteers generally with our More Complete American History Exhibit, "Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow," and we are delighted.  Therefore, we will train our first class of Docents this month.  

If you are interested in serving as a docent and wish to participate in the May training, please sign up here on our website. We will have a Zoom interest meeting on Wednesday, May 12th, at 6:00 PM. to answer any questions that you may have about the program, requirements, and expectations.  After the interest meeting, those persons who are interested may then register.

Sign up by clicking here---> Docent Program Interest Meeting

African American History Book Club is a Member's Only Offering

      Please become a member so that you may join us for Part 2 of our group exploration and discussion of

Caste by Author Isabel Wilkerson 

Membership is open to ALL.

1) Simply click on Membership to join at any membership level, and

                        2) Sign up for the book club by clicking here --->  African American History Book Club

When you sign up, you will receive the list of questions and issues that we will explore

on May 23, 2021,  at 4:00 PM, led by Ph.D. Candidate, Mrs. Deleesa Cole Butler.


117 E. Government Street, Pensacola, FL 32502

***Note: This African American History Exhibit has been open for 26 consecutive weeks and has been toured by dozens of visitors despite pandemic conditions.  Beginning May 6, 2021 for a relatively short period, tours of the exhibit will be by appointment only, while we implement our Docent Program and provide training of the exhibit for our docents so that they can competently serve as hostesses, greeters, and tour guides.

We look forward to returning to the convenient walk-in touring basis shortly. Meanwhile, we are rebroadcasting several Speakers from this season in addition to providing two (2) original programs and an event on our website this month.

For an appointment to tour the exhibit, please email: Society@aahspensacola.org

This exhibit explores a more complete history of America which includes discussion of the first known African people to be enslaved in America, arriving in Virginia in 1619, and that history up to

and including the present.

Modified Virtual Tour of Exhibit (below)     


African American History Exhibit AND Lecture

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow opened on Saturday, November 21, 2020 with Guest Lecturer Lillie Edwards, Ph.D.

The exhibit explores and teaches the untaught history of America beginning in 1619 with the arrival of the first persons from Africa to the U.S. Colonies that marked the beginning of enslaved humans in America. The Dutch slave ship, The White Lion, arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, one year before the Mayflower. Note that these were not the first Africans to travel to America, as many people of African descent had been members of exploration teams to America since the 1500's and many lived in various regions of North America and the Caribbean Islands for hundreds of years. The Africans of 1619 were human trafficked from Africa by the Portuguese and acquired by Colonists to be enslaved for the purpose of free labor in the Northern Colonies.

This exhibit is a must for all who revere history and knowledge. This original groundbreaking and highly celebrated exhibit was curated by the storied New York Historical Society Museum & Library founded in 1804 as New York's first museum. The title of this exhibit suggests coverage of the singular time period of Jim Crow, as that was in fact the subject of the original eight (8) poster exhibit. However, the exhibit has been augmented with sixteen (16) additional posters curated by Cheryl Howard on behalf of the African American Heritage Society, to cover a significantly larger period beginning with the Continent of Africa, and continuing to the present, including current events, which are credited as the catalyst for the present social justice awakening.

The Exhibit is available (immediately below) on our website for virtual touring.


 Stated in an address to the National Urban League in 1946:

"We must make every effort [to ensure] that the past injustice, violence and economic discrimination will be made known to the people."

"The taboo, the 'let's-not-talk-about-it' must be broken."

  Albert Einstein

To learn more about Mr. Einstein's commitment to Social Justice


Sponsored By:



Lectures sponsored in part by the JOHN C. PACE lecture series.

Chief Executive Officer:  Dr. Cheryl Howard

 Board of Directors:        

Angela McCorvey, Ph.D., President

Marion Williams, Ph.D. 

Dayle Hawthorne, M.D.

Chris Hendricks    

Rev. Edward Hayes

Keya Wiggins Jackson, Ph.D.

Bill Caplinger       



Laurel Boyd, Ph.D.           Saundra Daggs

Jim Boyd, M.D.            The Late Leon Daggs

     Dr. and Mrs. Lamont Canada

             The Late Judge and Mrs. Howard Bennett

Lornetta T. Epps, M.D., Co-Founder

Acknowledgements:  Thank you to High School History Teacher Dashaun McKenzie who contributed to our May 2021 Newsletter, with the history of "Florida's Emancipation Day." This is the only externally submitted contribution that we have had in many years and we look forward to other history submissions by Mr. McKenzie in the future. 

One Moment Please!

If you would like to see more programming like this, and those events that are listed above under our Chronological History and Record of Events, please click on membership to join us, or donate to make a contribution. WE ARE A UNITED WAY OF WEST FLORIDA CERTIFIED AGENCY.


Donations ID: CH2065                                                  ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

Permanent Exhibit


The African Presence in the Americas from the year 1492  

This Gallery Exhibit was acquired from The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture which is located at and generously supported by The New York Public Library.

This exhibit was paid for in part with an Arts Program grant provided by the Pensacola Chapter of The Links, Inc.

BELOW:  Slideshow of attendees at some of our Programs:

Achieving Social Justice through Education

The African American Heritage Society was founded upon the belief that in order to achieve social justice, we must begin with an informed and educated citizenry. This is why our mission statement, actions through our programming, and events over the decades have all been undergirded by education. Our Lecture Series, which has been very popular will continue, and this year we will seek to educate by providing a more complete history of America and it's relationship with Americans of African descent.

We know that American History, as taught in the U.S. school system is incomplete. It often leaves out important people, facts, and details, which if included could improve our collective understanding of how we as a nation have arrived at this particular moment in time, yet again. That moment in time that I refer to is this country's collective reckoning with the many social injustices that continue to exist within the everyday framework of our lives. There are emphatically dual systems of engagement for people of different "races" within this one country. How did that happen? We will answer that question and more this season by providing an historical context to the questions: How did African Americans arrive in America? When? For what purpose? What atrocities have we been legally subjected to? How have we survived? What contributions have we made despite the odds? What is the current state of this 'union'?

We sincerely believe that the best way to effect change is not to ignore historical facts and wish them away, but to face those historical facts soberly, and intentionally, no matter how dark and difficult to accept. By doing this, we operate from the position of knowledge, rather than ignorance, as the former yields greater understanding and a resulting lack of tolerance for injustice. 

Please visit our co-sponsored exhibit, "Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow", with the University of West Florida's Historic Trust, that opened in November 2020, at Voices of Pensacola, where it remains.  Our "More Complete" American History lecture series is implemented in conjunction with the exhibit over the course of several months. 


Do you recognize the people or history associated with the events depicted below? Their significance to American History along with many other people, places, and American historical facts will be explored and taught about as part of our Black Citizenship in the age of Jim Crow exhibit.


1)  What does "Jim Crow" mean and how was it used in Florida. The video, "Jim Crow in Florida" is provided by the Florida Humanities Council and provides educational information as to the meaning of "Jim Crow", how it evolved, its' purposes, and more. (Watch below).

Upcoming events

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The African American Heritage Society of Pensacola, Florida has served the region for the past twenty-nine years. Our Mission is to preserve, promote and integrate African American history, heritage, culture and diversity in the greater Northwest Florida region and to promote cultural tourism. 

We are a 501 (c) (3) organization founded September 12, 1990. During this time, we have brought an array of artists, scholars and historians to Pensacola to celebrate African American heritage.

Through quality programming, the African American Heritage Society has offered retrospective exhibits in the visual arts and humanities, performing arts programs, films and educational lectures, all highlighting a broad spectrum of the African Americans' unique and creative contributions to American life.

Current Exhibit

African American History Exhibit, “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow”

Voices of Pensacola 

117 E. Government Street

Pensacola, FL 32502

NOTE:  For the month of May, individual and group tours are by APPOINTMENT ONLY as we transition to our Docent Program. To request an appointment, please email:  society@aahspensacola.org

Address:    (Alternate Address in use during COVID and to display our Current Exhibit - See Above)

Historic District

The Coulson House

200 Church Street | Pensacola, Florida 32502

Email: aahspensacola@gmail.com (Preferred Contact)

(850) 469-1456