Kingsley Heritage Celebration
In 1806, 13-year-old Anta Madjiguène Ndiaye was captured in the Kingdom of Jolof and sold through the infamous Gorée Island. She was sold to the captain of a European ship who transported her to Havana where she was purchased by South Carolinian Zephaniah Kingsley. Kingsley would become one of the largest plantation owners in Northeast Spanish Florida. And Anta, later known as Anna, would become his wife and mother of four of his children. Anna’s tumultuous life would involve emancipation, landmark litigation over her property rights, periods of exile in Haiti and eventually a role as a leading member of Florida’s Free Black community. Anna’s descendants form part of Florida’s Gullah Geechee communities and every year they gather at the Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville.
Join them this year for a living history event spread across two weekends on February 15 and 22, 2020. Kingsley descendant Dr. Johnetta Besch Cole — former president of Spelman College and director of the National Museum of African Art — will give a keynote on February 15. There will also be a musical performance by the Geechee Gullah Rings Shouters. On the second weekend, re-enactors will portray an interactive, living history timeline. For more information about the February living history events, visit nps.gov/timu or call 904-251-3537.
Painting: “Anna Kingsley”, oil on linen, by Marianne Lerbs (Kessler Collection).