Black History Month in Tampa

by Michael Abdoney - 02/03/2021 -Tampa

Learning more about the African-American experience is a good thing for society. This is something folks in Tampa get an opportunity to experience in person.

This celebration began in 1926, but it was called the "Negro History Week" in those days. The celebration was initiated by a man named Carter G. Woodson.

This idealistic person wanted to help folks understand some of the positive contributions African-Americans have made to this country and its culture. Woodson wanted to encourage African-Americans to reclaim their past, be proud of their heritage, and he thought this would help.

For years, the "Negro History Week" remained unchanged, but President Gerald Ford changed things. He extended the week and renamed the celebration. Ford called it the Black History Month in 1976. Ford wanted the nation to recognize the accomplishments of this population that's usually overlooked.

In Florida, Black History Month is quiet important, especially because of organizations like the Association of African American Museums and Florida's own heritage preservation network. The Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network is helping the people of Tampa and around America learn more about this often forgotten history. Thanks to these organizations, you'll find cultural centers in museums and libraries in Tampa.

You'll find Bradenton in Florida. This is a Family Heritage House Museum that was erected in 1990. You're going to find literature as well as historical artifacts in the small museum. On top of that, you'll also find a community resource center to help all visitors.

Ellenton is a state park, but it's also the home to the only plantation house in Florida. The idea of visiting a real plantation home can feel quite overwhelming, but it's a good idea. This means seeing America as it was in history and seeing what people did wrong. The plantation home belonged to a Major Robert Gamble, and it was a sugar plantation. When you walk into the mansion, you'll see a list of names. Take a moment to reflect on their names. They are the names of the slaves who worked the field for Major Gamble.

St. Petersburg has the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American museum that focuses on African Americans who played a big part in developing what Floridians now know as St. Petersburg.

If you want to see exhibits that shed light on the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, you should visit Robert. W. Saunders Library Foundation. You'll also find a lot of information about the NAACP. The museum is quite interactive. You can play audio recordings and video content pertaining to these important times in African American History.

The L.B. Brown House is an incredible house that was built by a former slave. This was was built in 1892, and it's still standing, probably because the builder was a self-taught master carpenter who knew what he was doing.

His name was Lawrence Bernard Brown or L.B. Brown. Since Brown was born into slavery, he wasn't taught much beyond what he needed to learn to work. Still, even with all the obstacles he faced, Brown became a successful business person and an admired leader to the folks he lived around. Visiting his house gives you a chance to honor him along with others who overcame so much.