African Americans have made significant contributions to Florida's growth and development and continue to play an important role in creating modern Collier County.

 

As early as 1688, black slaves fled bondage in the Southern colonies to seek life as free men and women in Spanish-ruled Florida. Later, they were received by the Seminole as allies in their struggle against the U.S. military. The role of these Black Seminole Indians during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842) is explained in a permanent exhibit at the Collier County Museum in Naples.

 

The separate waiting room originally used by black passengers until the 1960s has been preserved at the Naples Depot Museum, as well as the stories of the black porters, track layers and train conductors who worked on the railroads.

 

Other local sites of interest include the Macedonia Baptist Church, the oldest African-American church in Naples. The church was organized in 1929 and relocated to its present site in 1952. The Gothic-style church building is located at 1006 Third Avenue North and was dedicated in 1954.