The history of enslaved individuals in the United States began long before the U.S. gained nationhood. In 1619, twenty enslaved Africans were brought to the Virginia colony and traded for food. Soon, more Africans and indigenous people were forced into slavery and brought to the English colonies. While 1619 became a watershed moment in the history of slavery in the Americas, it was not the first time an enslaved African was brought to North America. More than fifty years before enslaved Africans were brought to Virginia, Spanish colonizers brought enslaved Africans to present-day St. Augustine, FL. At the time, Florida was occupied by the Spanish. It was not until 1821 with the Adams-Onis Treaty that Florida became a part of the United States. More than 12.5 million enslaved Africans were forced from the African continent into the transatlantic slave trade, and moments of resistance began almost immediately. Some of the earliest recorded moments of resistance to these injustices were the 493 recorded mutinies that occurred on slave ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. This spirit of resistance and activism continued and persists today. The story of African American experiences in Florida, as in the rest of the country, is very much one of fighting for racial justice.The African American Activism Collection includes the primary source materials that document the work and lives of several prominent community activists and leaders of the NAACP chapters in Florida at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1940s through the 1970s. Racial justice activism during that time focused on police brutality, voter oppression, school desegregation, fair housing, and job discrimination. As the documents in this collection show, these decades were also a time of extensive government oppression of its citizens’ rights through the formation of investigative bodies, such as The Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (also known as the Johns Committee), which was fueled by the paranoia of the Second Red Scare and the Lavender Scare. Despite the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision in 1954, schools and other public places in Florida were slow to desegregate and several counties purposely delayed the process, which created even more urgency for activists to fight back at the time.