Author Valada Flewellyn Delivers Keynote Presentation Tuesday Evening for Black History Month

February 12, 2010

Valada_Flewellyn Saint Leo University’s School of Arts and Sciences continues its commemoration of Black History Month with a multifaceted presentation on the lives of African American residents from Central Florida, to be delivered at 7 p.m., Tuesday, February 16, by poet and non-fiction writer Valada Flewellyn.

She will speak in the Student Community Center Boardroom at the main campus. Admission and parking are free. The public is invited to attend. A reception will follow.

Flewellyn has lived in Longwood, Florida, just north of Orlando, with her family for more than 20 years, providing her with her with long-term access to the historical resources of nearby Sanford. While Sanford is currently known throughout the region as home to the modern Orlando Sanford International Airport, it also has a rich past that dates back to its founding in the 1870s. Its development included the contributions of a significant African-American population and workforce. Flewellyn, in cooperation with the Sanford Historical Society, collected photographs and chronicled many family and personal stories for the 2009 publication of African Americans of Sanford, a volume from the Images of America series issued by Arcadia Publishing.

Flewellyn plans to discuss that work, and show a 28-minute documentary film called Goldsboro: An American Story, based on interviews with residents of one of the prominent black communities in the book. Flewellyn made the film along with a college class and faculty member from the University of Central Florida in 2006.

She plans also to read some of her poetry, and to discuss briefly her latest project, a traveling museum exhibit on Jesse LeRoy Brown, the first African American U.S. Naval aviator, who flew during the Korean War. There will be time for questions and discussion.

This keynote presentation is one of several events that has been sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences for Black History Month. For more information, contact Allyson Marino at or (352) 588-8662.