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African-American Research Library & Cultural Center celebrates Seminole Tribe

FORT LAUDERDALE — The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale celebrated the Seminole Tribe as part of their Destination Fridays programming on March 8 featuring exhibits, music, food and presentations.
Although the themes of these events held on the first Friday of select months are usually travel-based and focus on cultures in other areas, the library decided to dedicate this month to the Seminole Tribe.

The center filled its display cases with texts focusing on The Seminole Tribe and how they fought against oppression. Many of the texts included or focused on the history of the Black Seminoles and the relationship between Africans who fled slavery and built alliances with the Seminole Tribe.

“Tonight, we are honoring the Seminole Tribe. We put together what we thought would be an experience for you all,” said Cultural Heritage Librarian Senior Ramona La Roche,as she opened the night’s festivities.

The night was catered by Billie’s Swamp Water Café showcasing favorites such as alligator, catfish, rice, beans, chicken, and — of course — fry bread.

Alyssa Boge, education coordinator at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, hosted exhibits for patrons to learn about Seminole history and culture including a water color station to learn about Seminole art, a survival simulation game to educate about the tragedy of the Seminole Wars, and an exhibit of patchwork and other traditional Seminole items.

Boge later hosted a trivia game to help the crowd learn about the Seminole’s history. The questions ranged from chickee basics to little known facts about Betty Mae Jumper.

Adakai Robbins gives a presentation on Seminole culture March 8 at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale. Part of the presentation was on misconceptions about Native Americans. (Photo Jenna Kopec)
Attendees view the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki exhibit, which includes patchwork and other Seminole crafts. (Photo Jenna Kopec)
Attendees gather in the lobby of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center to learn about and celebrate Seminole culture. (Photo Jenna Kopec)
Jenna Kopec
Jenna Kopec is a student, freelancer and South Florida local. She studies communication with a concentration in journalism at Nova Southeastern University. In addition to The Seminole Tribune, she's been published on The Fight Guys and The Current, Nova Southeastern University's student-run newspaper. She's developed other media and online content interning at The Jason Taylor Foundation and 3J Hospitality. You follow her on Twitter @jen_kopec

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