man and woman posing

Lewis Colson, posing with his wife Irene, was Sarasota's first black resident and would plat the land for the city (Photo: State Archives of Florida)

A Century of Black History in Sarasota

For over 100 years, Black residents played a major role in the development of Sarasota

December 31, 2020
tour marker in newtown neighborhood in sarasota florida

Get to Know Newtown Through its History

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.

group of people standing near historical marker on lido beach in sarasota county florida

U.S. Civil Rights Trail Stops in Sarasota's Newtown Community

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. 

Trolley outside window in newtown florida

Newtown Community Gallery Preserves Proud African-American History

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.

exterior sign at westcoast black theatre troupe in sarasota florida

From Humble Beginnings to Sarasota Staple: The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

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.

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Sarasota County Centennial

Sarasota County is 100 years in the making. Discover the historical tales and how you can celebrate in 2021!