African Americans have a rich and diverse history in the Panama City, Bay County area. It began when the first slave escaped from a plantation and made his way across the U.S. border into what was then “Spanish Florida.” This changed forever the culture, demographic and the literal complexion of Florida and specifically the Panama City, Bay County area which was more severely affected because of its proximity to the slave states just across the US border. This is a history that not only African American should be proud of but, all citizens in this area should admire.
A Brief Biography of Matthew W. Shack Sr.
Wife –Carolyn (deceased)
Two Sons – Matthew Jr. – Michael
Born in Marianna grew up in Panama City
Rosenwald High 1960
Rosenwald Jr. College 1962
Florida A&M 1965 BA –Math
Naval Aviator 1965-1970
Business owner- Matthew Shack Insurance Agency 1971-2003 San Jose Ca (Retired)
Author, Actor, Playwright & Historian
Currently writing book: The History of African Americans of the St. Andrew’s Bay and the Florida Panhandle. Scheduled for publication 2019.
Adjunct Professor Gulf Coast State College “ENCORE”
Founder/Director–Glenwood Community Playhouse for the Performing Arts (2007-Present)
Member of the Board of Directors of the American African Cultural Center; Panama City
Chair of the Panama City Board of Adjustment
Member of the Executive Committee Bay County NAACP
Chair of the Civic Engagement Committee Bay County NAACP
Member of the Board of Directors of the LEAD Coalition
Member Board of Directors AARP Chapter 1315 Panama City