Tallahassee park dedicated to the leader of the local African-American community

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — In recognition of his countless years of dedicated service in preserving African-American history, the City of Tallahassee honored Althemese Pemberton Barnes on Tuesday by dedicating a park in his honor.

Several dozen members of the Tallahassee community, including city leaders, were on hand to celebrate the Smokey Hollow commemoration.

Barnes is now featured prominently on a mural that displays photos of her throughout her time and work for the community.

“Throughout this city, there are signs of the Riley Museum’s 24-year influence on several historic projects that you’ve heard of. I’m glad I got to lead them and play a central role in them,” Barnes said.

Barnes is the founder of the John G. Riley Center and Museum.

Barnes has worked with communities throughout Leon County to preserve local history, including the Frenchtown Marker, FAMU Way historic trails, Greenwood Cemetery and more.

Since his time at the Riley Museum, Barnes has also advised other African American history museums across Florida and conducted research on 28 books and documentaries to continue telling important cultural stories.

“Knowing the story, understanding it and proactively learning from it is the root of its value,” Barnes said.

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