Upcoming Events

Because the African-American population in the Sarasota area is only around 5%, the programs and activities of Manasota ASALH significantly impact the cultural life of the area. In addition to our annual events, which include the Randy Rankin Scholarship Classic, Veterans’ Week Celebration, Holiday Breakfast, and the Black Muse art exhibit, Manasota ASALH also sponsors special events that celebrate the richness of African-American culture.

Upcoming ASALH Events (Manasota Branch)


The Cultural Resource Center at the North Sarasota Library, 2801Newtown Blvd, open Tuesdays 12 noon-5 PM, Thursdays 11 AM-6 PM, Saturdays, 11 AM-1 PM and by Appointment

The Family Heritage House Museum at State College of Florida Manatee Sarasota, 5840 26th Street West, Bradenton, Florida, open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 11 AM-6 PM

Manasota ASALH

Previously Sponsored Events

Randy Rankin – April 9, 2016, Palm Aire Country Club

Each year, our branch hosts a Scholarship Sports Classic, now named after one of our deceased members, Randy Rankin, which is the major fundraising event for our Manasota ASALH Scholarship Program. In the morning, participants compete in golf and tennis tournaments and play and compete in card games; at the afternoon luncheon, participants receive trophies and enjoy each other’s company.


Randy Rankin 2016 Chairpersons, Dr. and Mrs. Donald and Doris Johnson coordinated a highly successful and well-attended Scholarship Classic. Twenty-two players enjoyed tennis on Friday, April 8th. On Saturday, April 9th, players included eighty-five golfers, thirty-two Bridge players, twenty Bid Whist players, and twenty Mah Jongg players. The closing luncheon was attended by two-hundred ten members and friends, who enjoyed a lovely lunch along with the presentation of trophies to winning teams. The success of the Randy Rankin classic was celebrated at the last meeting of Manasota ASALH on Friday, May 27, 2016 when President Mark Jackson presented scholarships to 14 graduating seniors from area schools.

Veterans’ Week Celebration

Annually Manasota ASALH partners with the Sarasota Friendship Center to present an exhibit celebrating our local veteran heroes. The celebration is held the week of November 11th. ASALH’s presentation consistently celebrates the contributions of African American service people to our country’s history.

In 2013 ASALH brought in for presentation at the Robert L. Taylor Center the “Taking Our Stand Exhibit from Richmond, VA. The exhibit was viewed by over 1500 local area middle and high school students. Ret. Lt. Col. George Hardy – Tuskegee Airman and ASALH member – presented to the Booker High Advanced history class.

Annual Holiday Breakfast – December 3, 2015

Our Annual Manasota ASALH Holiday Breakfast provides an opportunity for members to fellowship with each other and friends, learn from a Moment in History, enjoy an entertainment presentation, and celebrate the holidays.

Black Muse Art Exhibit

In 1999, founding branch president Ernestine Harris asked artist, Dr. Barbara Mask – Manasota ASALH member – to organize an exhibition featuring the art of branch and community members. This long-standing annual event enables local African American artists to exhibit their works to the public. Now held at the Sarasota Art Center, it runs from the end of January through the middle of February. The grand opening averages over 200 people yearly.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Event

January 17, 2016 @ 6 PM, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Event, Dream Big: Civil Rights and Social Justice, and evening of film, reflections, and entertainment, Booker High School Theatre

Family Story of Ancestors

February 3, 2016 @ 1 PM, Family tells fascinating story of discovering their ancestor, acclaimed African-American photographer, King Daniel Ganaway, North Sarasota Library

Dr. S. Carroll Buchanan Film Series

February 20, 2016 @ 2 PM, Dr. S. Carroll Buchanan Film Series, “Rise” Episode Five of the Six-Part Series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

20 Year Chapter Anniversary – Dr. Evelyn Higginbotham Speaking

ASALH National President and Historian, Dr. Evelyn Higginbotham will speak at a luncheon on February 27, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency to help celebrate Manasota ASALH’s 20th year as a chartered branch of the national organization. Luncheon tickets: $60 per person

Black History Trip to New Orleans and the Whitney Plantation

April 13th through April 17th, 2016, Manasota ASALH is sponsoring a Black History bus trip from Sarasota to New Orleans and to the Whitney Plantation, about one hour north of New Orleans. The Whitney Plantation opened its doors to the public in 2014 for the first time in its 262-year history as the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. Cost of trip: $993.67 per person, based on double occupancy