Choose Tallahassee Celebrates Black History Month!

Briann Wyatt

To celebrate Black History Month, Choose Tallahassee is highlighting Black business owners and esteemed community members who live, work, play and have chosen to stay and make Tallahassee their home. 

While it is important to recognize the contributions of African American leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and John Lewis, there are a number of community leaders right here in Tallahassee whose accomplishments in the fields of politics, hospitality, technology, and more are deserving of recognition as well. 

Follow Choose Tallahassee’s Facebook page throughout the month of February to read inspiring stories from Black business owners, community leaders, and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit Choose Tallahassee’s website: 

“The goal of our organization is to be a positive window to the world for Tallahassee, stated Choose Tallahassee’s Executive Director, Gregg Patterson, “which includes celebrating the many contributions made by Black community leaders over the years.” 

From John G. Riley, who founded Lincoln Academy (now Lincoln High School), to current day community activists, like Anita Favors, who was the first African American female city manager of Florida’s capital city, there is so much Black history to celebrate right here in our local community. 

Below are quotes from a few of Tallahassee’s Black leaders, describing why they love the city.

Anita Favors, City of Tallahassee Community Leader: “When my family first moved to Tallahassee, we were taken aback by the friendliness and graciousness we experienced… I recall how amazed I was when people would drive by my house and wave.  At first, I wondered, ‘Do they know me?’ and then I came to realize that they did not. Just another lovely courtesy. Tallahassee has changed some since then, but still maintains that charm, which I find delightful.”

Barbara McGarrah, Owner of Barb’s Gourmet Brittles: “I love the Southern Charm of Tallahassee and that it is very family-friendly.”

Brian Wyatt, CEO of B-EZ Graphics: “The things I love about Tallahassee are the familial experiences and opportunities that make even the most unlikely of strangers feel more like friends and family. Many people here have a good heart to help improve and empower the community’s growth… Where I’m from, very few people cared about your growth and well-being outside your own circle of friends and family. I’m glad to be a part of the Tallahassee community that, collectively, feels differently. I’m especially excited about playing a more influential role in conversations, and work to create more equitable economic and social growth and opportunities in Tallahassee.”

Carlos Wilder, Owner of CTW Broadcasting: “Tallahassee has several beautiful parks, trails, cultural events, and is a friendly community. These attributes make Tallahassee a great place to raise a family and do business.

Hillard Goldsmith, President of JP Goldsmith Financial Services: “I love that the city is progressive, vibrant, and youthful thanks to the universities.   I love living here because it provides a great environment to start and raise a family.  It also has access to some of the best education in the country!”

For more information about Choose Tallahassee, contact Executive Director, Gregg Patterson, at 850-692-8036 or