Charlie Crist won the Governor’s race with some 18 percent of the black vote in the state, a number unheard of for a Republican. His ability to attract black voters was due in part to his work in civil rights as Attorney General. But, Crist is continuing to reach out during Black History month.
Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp arrived at the Riley House, an African American Museum in Tallahassee, with check in hand.
After 3 years of being rebuffed, The Black Museum got a 350 thousand dollar appropriation from the state legislature. The money will be used to help set up a network of 10 Black Museums in the state.
Director Althemese Barnes says the money is coming at a time when the last grand-children of the slave generation is dying. “What we have to realize is that the people age ranges represent probably the last people who talked with or knew somebody who came out of slavery.”
The Lt. Governor sidestepped a question about continuing to reach out to black voters, by saying the Administration wants to preserve history for everyone. “We have to preserve that history. We have to let our future generations know about the history of this state.
The real test of the new administration’s commitment to black Americans and the preservation of their history will come later this year as the 350 thousand dollars that was delivered today funds just a fourth of the need.
So as blacks rewarded Crist with many of their votes last November, the new governor appears to be setting a tone that he is there for them as well.
Governor Crist met Tuesday with the presidents of historically black colleges in Florida, where he was lobbied for more financial support. Crist told reporters he understands the importance of providing state dollars to the schools