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Here are ways you can still celebrate Black History Month in the Tampa Bay area

Curator Fred Hearns leads a walking tour during Black History Month.
Tampa Bay History Center
Fred Hearns, curator of Black history at the Tampa Bay History Center, led a walking tour last weekend as a part of the center's Black History Month festivities.

They include exhibits, discussions and festivals across the region.

Tampa Bay is rich in cultural history. This month, educational centers and outdoor festival spaces alike will be filled with celebrations of Black History.

Here are just a few of the ways you can celebrate this month and learn about the history of diversity in the Tampa area.

COMMUNITY CALENDAR: More Black History Month events across the area

Educational Events at the Tampa Bay History Center

The history center will be hosting several weekend events to honor Black History Month. Earlier this month, the Central Avenue West Walking Tour took Tampa residents to see the Oaklawn Cemetery, the Historic Harlem Academy School, and other monuments to Black culture. Fred Hearns, who is the curator of Black History at the center, led the tour.

On Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m., the history center will host Dr. Lisa Armstrong for a free discussion about the history of Carver City. According to the Tampa Bay Discovery Center website, Armstrong uses ethnographic technology to "gain insight into Black experiences and perspectives" from the Carver City Community.

This month's Living History Saturday will be held Feb. 25 from noon to 3 p.m. Located at the history center, this gallery will feature the Rogers Park Golf Course and its historical contribution to the surrounding Black Community. Tickets are $16.95 for adults, and free for children 6-under.

The center will also hold a Black History Month Reception on Friday, Feb. 24, at 5:30 p.m. The event will preview a new local black history exhibit, which will be unveiled this summer. Located at the Tampa Bay History Center’s TECO Hall, the reception will cost $75 to attend. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Dr. Gary L. Lemons' artwork features several colorful hands reaching to touch in the center of the image.
Carter G. Woodson African American Museum
Dr. Gary L. Lemons' artwork, the "Touch in the Spirit of Love" exhibit, has been featured in the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum since Jan. 10.

Events at the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum

The February Artwalk will be held at the Woodson Museum on Saturday, Feb. 11. The walk will feature pieces by Dr. Gary L. Lemons, an African American Literature and Biblical Studies professor at the University of South Florida. His project, "Touch in the Spirit of Love," has been a museum exhibit since early January. The Artwalk will be free and open to the public from 5-8 p.m.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) will be holding a Black History Month Celebration and Dinner on Feb. 25. The event will be held at the USF St. Petersburg Campus Student Center at 6 p.m, and will feature a screening of "Invisible History: Florida's Hidden Roots" by Valerie Scoon. Scoon is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and a professor at the University of Florida. The film "explores the little-known history of plantations and enslavement in Florida," according to the museum website. Tickets are available for purchase online via Eventbrite.

Clearwater "Night at the Library" Event

The North Greenwood Library in Clearwater will hold its sixth annual "Night at the Library" event in cooperation with the Clearwater African American Remembrance Committee and the Clearwater Historical Society. The discussion will include several presentations on the history of segregation in Pinellas County Schools. The event will be free and open to the public, and will last from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.

Young dancers perform at the festival wearing cultural dresses.
City of Lakeland
The Lakeland Black History Festival will be held on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jackson Park.

Lakeland Black History Festival

The Lakeland Black History Festival will include dance performances, children's activities and opportunities to get involved in neighborhood organizations. This year's activities will also include a neighborhood Black History Walk, which will begin at the Coleman-Bush Building. The Festival will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival

Tampa Bay held its first collard green festival in 2018, modeled after the Metro-Atlanta Collard Greens
Cultural Festival. This year's event boasts of a collard cook-off, activities for kids and wellness seminars, as well as group fitness sessions. The website also advertises food truck vendors, live music and a block party. This year's event will be held on Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.

Octavio Jones
WUSF Public Media
People lineup for collard greens during the 2022 Publix Tampa Bay Collard Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Saturday, February 19, 2022. Photo by Octavio Jones for WUSF

Joanna Keen is the WUSF Stephen Noble Digital News intern for spring of 2023.