Florida’s Minority Trailblazers: A conversation with Dr. Susan MacManus tonight

Florida’s Minority Trailblazers

Dr. Susan MacManus

Thursday, September 10, at 7 p.m.

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Virtual Program: Registration required via Zoom

In celebration of the 19th Amendment centennial, which gave women the right to vote, professor, author, and political analyst Dr. Susan MacManus will discuss her book Florida’s Minority Trailblazers, via Zoom, tonight at 7 p.m. 

Register for the Virtual Discussion

Florida experienced a population surge during the 1960s that diversified the state and transformed it into a microcosm of the nation, but discrimination remained pervasive. With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, along with later rulings on redistricting and term limits, the opportunity to participate in government became more and more possible for previously silenced voices.


Drawing primarily from personal interviews, Susan MacManus recounts the stories of the first minority men and women—both Democrat and Republican—who were elected or appointed to state legislative, executive, and judicial offices and to the U.S. Congress since the 1960s. She reveals what drove these leaders to enter office, how they ran their campaigns, what kinds of discrimination they encountered, what rewards each found during their terms, and what advice they would share with aspiring politicians. Full of inspiring stories and informative statistics, Florida’s Minority Trailblazers is an in-depth rendering of personal struggles—guided by opportunity, ambition, and idealism—that have made Florida the vibrant, diverse state it is today.

This program was developed in partnership with the Matheson History Museum, the University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Service, the League of Women Voters of Alachua County and the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections.

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