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Endangered History: Remembering New Augustine

Author: Michael Coutu
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leverette


After the end of the Civil War, redlining and other racist housing policies forced the creation of tightly knit communities in the few areas where Black Americans could own property. As Florida’s population grew in the early and mid-20th century, so too did these distinct cities and towns, many of which now have endangered legacies after being incorporated into larger cities. The area which was known as “New Augustine” lies in what is now West Augustine. Here, lack of adequate funding for infrastructure and business investment have combined with generations of isolation to impact the health and vibrancy of the community. Additionally, the neighborhood is home to landmarks with valuable history that are in danger of being lost to decay or to new developments.
Research Types: Undergraduate Research


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8 Responses

  1. Well done, Michael! You’ve opened a window on a little-known history, and I really appreciate your thoughts on preservation of and public access to historical sites.

  2. Thank you for this work, Michael. I think the history you highlight is not well known to many people, even many of us living in this area! Your project underscores how individual interests can become important projects and how endless the opportunities are.

  3. Really liked learning about this side of St. Augustine. Are you familiar with Fort Mose? It predates New Augustine and might be worth mentioning in the introduction. Your project would make good web map, whereby you could combine your text and images with a map and the locations of the sites you mentioned and would be accessible on the web.

  4. Your poster highlights how communities formed as a result of the active agency of African-Americans and despite racist practices like red-lining. But we have to be careful that as we work to undo the racism of such practices, we don’t inadvertently lose the history and cultural heritage of the African-American response to red-lining.

  5. I concur with many of the comments above; your presentation taught me so much about St. Augustine that I didn’t know despite having frequented the area so often. So thank you for that!

  6. Michael I love your project, it brings awareness to the field of urban planning and the ways it can perpetuate an agenda that has negative implications for communities of color. I appreciate that you included a section that thinks beyond the research and ways to actively work to ensure that this history is not erased.

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