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Telling Tampa Bay Stories

Vickie Oldham has made it her personal mission to preserve the history of Newtown, where she's lived almost her entire life.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on one of the first African American communities in Sarasota, Oldham talked about how Newtown Alive, the community organization she’s the director of, chronicles the neighborhood’s stories.

Patrick Carter spent most of his childhood in Newtown, one of the first African American communities in Sarasota. He left to play college football at Florida State University before moving on to the NFL. While he still remains involved in the Newtown community, particularly through sports mentorship, he chose to live in Bradenton instead.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Carter shares some of his fond memories growing up in the community and explains why he decided not to return.

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.

With the exception of the time he served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, Willie Charles Shaw has lived his entire life in Sarasota, much of it in the African American neighborhood of Newtown.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Shaw shared what the neighborhood was like when he was young, and how it’s changed over time.

Newtown resident Johnny Hunter grew up in the Sarasota community and plans to spend the rest of his life there. He left the area for a while, but returned as an adult and went on to co-publish Tempo News, a weekly African American newspaper that has been in the Sarasota-Manatee region since 1987.

Harriet Moore is principal of McIntosh Middle School in Sarasota and grew up in the Newtown neighborhood during the 1960’s and ‘70’s. She spent much of her childhood hanging around her parent’s grocery store.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Moore paints a picture of what the business community was like back then.

Fredd Atkins grew up in Sarasota’s Newtown neighborhood during segregation. He went on to become the city’s first African American mayor in the 1980’s, while serving on the city commission in the Newtown district seat, which was created several years prior following a federal lawsuit by the NAACP.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Atkins talks about some of the ways African Americans struggled in the community and the progress they have made since.

In 1963, Thomas Clyburn was summoned to the principal's office at Sarasota's Booker High School. He thought he was in trouble - instead, he was being asked to transfer to Sarasota High School, where he became one of the school's first two African American students.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Clyburn shared what that experience was like.

Newtown is one of the first African American neighborhoods in Sarasota, and the people who live there want to make sure its importance isn’t lost to time. They’re getting some assistance from students at the University of South Florida.

The holidays bring back fond memories of childhood for many people. As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, one of the first African American communities in Sarasota, one resident shared some of the traditions her family and neighbors shared in the community.

Jeanette Abrahamsen / USF Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications

In 2017, our series, "Telling Tampa Bay Stories," took us to Tampa's Progress Village. In 2018, the focus turned to Plant City -- a Hillsborough County community where agriculture and development, history and progress all meet.


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. 

Jeanette Abrahamsen / USF Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications

Last month, the first installment of our series, "Telling Tampa Bay Stories," took us to Plant City, where we heard stories about the history and development of the Hillsborough County community.

This week's Florida Matters highlights some of the places and events that make Plant City special.


Jeanette Abrahamsen

This week on Florida Matters we focus on the places and events that make Plant City special, like the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Last week we shined a light on the historic neighborhood Progress Village and this week on Florida Matters its story continues.

In the second half of our special two-part series Telling Tampa Bay Stories: Progress Village we hear more residents of Tampa's first affordable housing suburb share their memories growing up there, and talk about how the neighborhood has changed.


Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we'll hear the second half of our special two-part series Telling Tampa Bay Stories: Progress Village. We'll hear more residents of Tampa's first affordable housing suburb share their memories growing up there and talk about how the neighborhood has changed.

In this preview, we hear from Alfred Sheffield. His family moved to Progress Village when it was first founded in 1960.


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.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Progress Village was Tampa's first affordable housing suburb, and this week on Florida Matters we'll hear its story.


Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we'll hear the first episode in a special two-part series called Telling Tampa Bay Stories: Progress Village.

We'll hear residents of Tampa's first affordable housing suburb share their memories growing up there. And they'll talk about their hopes for the neighborhood's future.

Daylina Miller / WUSF

WUSF News has embarked on a new storytelling mission called "Telling Tampa Bay Stories," where our journalists will be visiting some of the region’s lesser-known spots to record interviews with members of those communities.

Daylina Miller/WUSF / WUSF

Telling Tampa Bay Stories is a new project from WUSF News, where our journalists will be visiting some of the region’s lesser-known spots -- to record stories from members of those communities.

We featured some of those stories this week on Florida Matters.

Wikimedia Commons

Everyone has a story to share, and WUSF News is hitting the road to collect some gems.

 

“Telling Tampa Bay Stories” is a new project from WUSF News, where our journalists will be visiting some of the region’s fascinating yet lesser-known spots. And we will record stories from members of those communities.