Jackson County leaders were contacted by FSU staff in 2019 to announce a grant they had been awarded to allow for the research and preservation of the history of communities in Jackson County known as the North Star Legacy Communities.

The following text has been pulled from the North Star Legacy Communities website regarding details of the project:

In the 1860 Census, just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, Florida recorded a population of 140,424. 61,745 of those Floridians – nearly 45% of the State’s population – were slaves. Much is known about Florida’s plantation economy and its economic drivers, but little is known about the communities that were created by enslaved blacks and some freedmen on and around these plantations. These self-sufficient communities were extensive and still exist today – now collectively known as North Star Legacy Communities.

In order to preserve and document the North Star Legacy Communities, a project by the Florida State University’s Department of Urban & Regional Planning was developed. The department began preliminary work on this project beginning in 2019. This project is a community engagement and economic development project that comprises of extensive fieldwork in Jackson County, Florida and engagement with ethnically and economically diverse stakeholders. 

The project team consists of graduate students in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at Florida State University. The team also includes Department of Urban and Regional Planning faculty (Dr. April Jackson and Dennis J. Smith, AICP), along with representatives from Florida State University’s DeVoe Moore Center (Dr. Sam Staley), and FAMU (Dr. Sandra Thompson).

For more information or to become involved in the project, please email [email protected] or visit the North Star Legacy Communities website. An informational flyer can be viewed here as well.

Updated: 09/22/2020