Every Black Southern Belle is raised to be a princess. Today we are featuring a true Black Southern Belle Princess who was crowned in Pensacola, Florida. This year, Kourtney Jones, was selected to a serve as the first African American princess on the 69th Fiesta of Five Flags Court of Don Tristan de Luna. Don Tristan DeLuna is recognized by the city of Pensacola as establishing the first European settlement in the new world in 1559. Since 1949, the Fiesta of Five Flags has celebrated and honored Pensacola’s rich history. The mission of the organization is “to celebrate our heritage, promote tourism, and build pride in Pensacola through festive activities which enhance the quality of life in our community.” Each princess and knight on the court represented a prominent citizen in Pensacola’s early years.
Kourtney, a British Princess, represented Julee Panton (1700s-1800), a free woman of color. Julee earned a living by baking and making candles. She spent the money she earned to buy the freedom of enslaved African Americans. Julie also helped them after they were free to establish themselves in the community.
Dr. Gregory Kent Woodfin, was Don Tristan DeLuna, LXIX, and Miss Meghan Crooke, was Fiesta Queen, 2018. Kourtney’s Knight, was Jim Binion.
Julia’s home, the Julee Cottage, built around 1805, is an early example of platform frame construction, reminiscent of the Creole cottages of the New Orleans French Quarter. It is the only surviving form of this urban Creole architecture in Pensacola. The cottage is located in the Seville historic district in Pensacola.
The Fiesta of Five Flags celebrates Pensacola’s history under five flags: United States, Confederate, Spanish, French and British. The Fiesta is the oldest and largest festival in Florida and lasts for 10-days. Some of the events include: the Grand Fiesta Parade, Boat Parade, DeLuna Landing Ceremony, and DeLuna Coronation Ball.
We want to congratulate Kourtney Jones on being crowned and are so honored to share this story and tradition that is a part of Pensacola History and African American History as well.