La'Tiara Love recently moved to the Newtown as she was looking for a predominantly African American community to live in.
As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Love, 33, talked about why she moved there and what she’s found so far.
I lived in Florida probably about five years ago. I was a Disney intern, so I believe in the magic of Florida (laughs). When I was in Orlando, I worked with the Winter Park Hannibal Square community, that's a historic black town. So I was kind of trying to figure out where is that in Sarasota, so I'm happy to be in the Newtown area.
People are friendly. Everybody says good morning, everybody speaks to you. (laughs) I feel like on day one, you're like best friends with people (laughs), which is nice, that's a nice feeling.
If you need something, if they can't do it, they know somebody like my hairdresser, restaurants, things of that nature. They all know how to give a good recommendation, which is nice for a new person. I don't have to Google anything, I could just ask somebody.
I see the importance of community on a grander scale since I've been here, like everybody is literally working together. They're carpooling together, they go to church together, they hang out together. So I think that it's made me more open and available to connect with people.
It just makes you feel empowered – a lot of times even in school, when you get introduced to African American history, it always starts with slavery or something like that.
It's just nice being in a space and just hearing those stories about people that look like you that have done these amazing things, like even the integration on the beaches here, which I think is so cool, because I just go to Lido Beach carefree.
It's just interesting to know the history behind it. And I think that the youth need to see that. I think that needs to be magnified.
Telling Tampa Bay Stories is an annual series WUSF has produced for the past four years that highlights different communities around the region people may not always hear about. We tell these stories with help from the people who call these places home. This year focuses on Newtown, one of the first African American communities in Sarasota.
The series is produced in partnership with University of South Florida journalism students. WUSF reporter Mark Schreiner and USF student Shae Driscoll produced this story. Conversations were recorded at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Newtown.