What is the Kingsley Heritage Celebration?
The Kingsley Heritage Celebration is an annual event held at Kingsley Plantation each October. “This event is a celebration of the determination and perseverance of the human spirit to survive against incredible odds,” explains Superintendent Barbara Goodman. “The goal of the event is to present this history in meaningful ways to our community.”
MaVynne Betsch was also a descendant of Anna and Zephaniah Kingsley and lived in northeast Florida at American Beach, the only beach historically available to African Americans. For MaVynne: "The Kingsley Heritage Celebration in October has a special significance for me, because I’m a descendant! My grandfather A.L. Lewis founded American Beach, and married his first wife Mary Sammis in October, the same month of the annual event. She, of course, was the great-granddaughter of Zephaniah and Anna Kingsley. I give black heritage tours of American Beach and students from all over are fascinated with the history of African Americans in Florida. Kingsley Plantation, Jacksonville, and American Beach form a golden triangle for black history for northeast Florida, and Kingsley Plantation is the gem of that triangle."
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