Mike Hill and Veterans H.B. 97

On location at the Fort Mose State Park and Museum, Derek Boyd Hankerson, a Floridian filmmaker and historian of Gullah Geechee heritage, had the opportunity to sit down with Florida State Representative Mike Hill to discuss Rep Hill’s proposed Veterans Bill H. B. 97, the Monuments and Memorials; Designates act “Soldiers’ and Heroes’ Monuments and Memorials Protection Act”.  

The National Historic Landmark of Fort Mose, established in 1738, served as a fitting location for the conversation as the bill “…defines ‘remembrance’; prohibits damage to or removal of certain remembrances; prohibits removal or other specified activities concerning remembrances on public property; grants certain persons standing for enforcement.” 

As a Military Academy graduate and direct descendant of Harlem Hellcats, Veteran Rep Mike Hill understands that freedom is not free.  He understands that veterans are from all walks of life, backgrounds, families, ethnicities and religions that have contributed to the great state of Florida and to America by putting themselves on the line and serving in the military. 

Located two miles north of the city of St. Augustine, Fort Mose is one of the earliest battle sites, pre-Revolutionary War, where the first Black Americans along with Hispanics, and Native Americans fought against the British for freedom and independence.  It is also the first free black settlement in North America that was settled by west and Central Africans from various tribes.

Fort Mose would fall under the protection of Rep Hill’s legislation as one of Florida’s 167 State Parks,

A Film by Derek Hankerson

Gullah Geechee Corridor & the East Coast Greenways documentary features the rich culture of African Americans in St. John’s County, Florida while highlighting three cycling trails known as Rails to Trails, the SEA Island Loop, and the East Coat Greenways.  The national release of the full-length film is scheduled for October 2018 during Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Month.  An exclusive showing occurred on September 27th at the St Augustine Lighthouse at 6:00pm. Derek Hankerson the writer, producer and director of the film introduced the film to a packed house. After the film there was a question and answer session.