Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Dillon Mahoney, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Lende, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rebecca Zarger, Ph.D.


cultural anthropology, gentrification, digital media, heritage tourism


When Americans think of Florida, tourist attractions often trail the initial thoughts of alligator sand chaos. Disneyworld and its neighboring parks are set up for optimal experience and consumption, the thought of a trip South along the coast for a sweltering beach day, sipping on a frozen drink in January sings to Midwesterners. For residents of these seaside cities, such as Sarasota, the experiences of the space are much more complex. Within the broader contexts of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd and a global pandemic that impacted America’s marginalized populations disproportionally, this anthropological study evaluates the role of the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition (SAACC) in reclaiming narratives of place and securing equitable representation of their narratives. The goals of this study are: 1) to demonstrate how informed non-profit engagement and arts can reshape understandings of locality, 2) to explore the consequential roles of representation on social media in tourist-oriented locations, and 3) to further our discussion of remote and online methods during a time of physical distancing.