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Black history

At The River I Stand / California Newsreel

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last campaign is still bringing communities together as they fight for equality and respect in the workplace.

Courtesy of Roy Peter Clark

The City of St. Petersburg will declare Feb. 15 "Ray Charles Day" during a special event at the Studio @ 620 Friday evening.

Sam Newlon

Plant City is best-known for its annual Strawberry Festival, but there is much more to this Hillsborough community.

For example, some may not know the city is also home to the Bing Rooming House, a National Historic Site that was once a hotel for people of color during segregation. 

Neighborhood News Bureau

African-American history in South St. Petersburg dates back over 150 years. The area known today as Midtown is a community full of native residents who have passed down stories from generation to generation. But, as people pass and memories fade, so can the rich history which lies there.

Police in St. Johns County are searching for a marker that had just been installed as a reminder of a lynching that had taken place on the site, off Shands Pier Road, in June of 1897.

One of the area's leading African American family-owned newspapers, The Weekly Challenger in St. Petersburg, just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Tampa's preeminent Hispanic newspaper, La Gaceta, is approaching 100 years. This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the history and cultural impact of ethnic publications in the Tampa Bay area.


On this podcast with Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham, WUSF News Director Mary Shedden and Florida Matters Producer Stephanie Colombini, hear more about the pioneering families of Tampa's Progress Village, and why the sense of community was so strong in that neighborhood. We ask whether the Progress Village elders have a lesson for us in how to build the bonds of community.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Making Tough Decisions

Jan 19, 2015
StoryCorps

Pat Spencer grew up in Montgomery, Alabama before settling in Tampa. She has been an active member of the NAACP since she was seven years old and has always been a volunteer for various organizations. 

 

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Spencer talks about her time volunteering in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s office in Montgomery. During the time Arthurine Lucy became the first African-American to desegregate the University of Alabama, Dr. King requested Spencer enroll too.

Music:

WUSF/Yoselis Ramos

Central Avenue was once the "Harlem of Tampa," where black-owned businesses flourished. The historic Jackson House – a boarding house – rented rooms to stars like Ella Fitzgerald and Cab Calloway. Former Florida NAACP director, civil rights activist Robert W. Saunders was born and raised just around the corner.