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Contest Entry: FL Matters - TTBS Plant City

Since 2016, WUSF has teamed with University of South Florida student journalists on a series called "Telling Tampa Bay Stories," which highlights communities in the area and the people who call them home.

In 2018, we visited Plant City - a Hillsborough County community where agriculture and development, history and progress all meet.

The first of a two-part series on Plant City aired on Florida Matters on Nov. 27, 2018. Half of the episode focused on the city's African-American history.

William Thomas, Jr. is president of the Improvement League of Plant City. We spoke to him about one of the non-profit’s signature projects: the Bing Rooming House, an African-American Museum that served as a hotel for blacks during the era of segregation.

We also spoke to retired schoolteacher Janell Green Johnson, the granddaughter of the original owners of the Bing Rooming House, about the hotel as well as segregation in Plant City.

Produced by Stephanie Colombini, Mark Schreiner and students from Jeannette Abrahamsen's Advanced Reporting class at the University of South Florida.