A Century of Black History in Sarasota
For over 100 years, Black residents played a major role in the development of Sarasota
The Black community in Sarasota known as Newtown is a local gem containing the rich history of people, places and events that contributed greatly to the development of our beautiful city by the sea.
Newtown’s proud history of advancing African American civil rights and equality is recognized nationally as an attraction for others to visit and appreciate. A new site as of 2019, the Newtown African American Heritage Trail is the southernmost point of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. As a visitor, you can discover this rich piece of Sarasota's history aboard a Newtown Alive trolley tour.
Walking into the Newtown Historical Gallery on Osprey Avenue in Sarasota is like walking into a time capsule filled with proclamations, family photos, artifacts, and an intangible aura of pride that permeates through the small, yet full space. The gallery is a museum of sorts paying homage to the wide and diverse history of Sarasota’s oldest Black community.
Since 1999, Sarasota’s Westcoast Black Theatre troupe has blossomed into one of our most popular theatre experiences, and has big plans to keep pushing the envelope.