Florida Conversations at the Tampa Bay History Center features Patricia C. Griffin, editor of the recently-published book, Odyssey of an African Slave.
Before the lecture, join the TBHC Book Group for a discussion of Odyssey on Thursday morning at 10:30. Both the lecture and the book discussion are free and open to the public.
Odyssey is the mesmerizing narrative of Sitiki, an African-born slave.
Sitiki, also known as Jack Smith, was born in Africa and died, a free man, in St. Augustine, Florida. He wrote his memoir between 1869 and 1871 with the assistance of Buckingham Smith, his former master.
Captured and sold into slavery as a five-year-old, Sitiki traveled to America as a cabin boy. He was sold to Josiah Smith of Savannah, Georgia, captured by the British during the War of 1812, and freed after the Civil War. He went on to become the first black Methodist minister in St. Augustine, Florida, where he established his own church.
Griffin edited the original hand-written account, which was recently discovered in the Buckingham Smith Collection at the New York Historical Society.
Florida Conversations features authors covering the history, culture and people of Florida and is presented through a partnership with the University of South Florida Libraries’ Florida Studies Center. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information or to find out about upcoming lectures, visit our website or call (813) 228-0097.