Black History Month was created to acknowledge, congratulate and celebrate the many contributions of African Americans in the United States. It is celebrated during the month of February.
There are many opportunities across the Bay to join in on the celebration. Here are eight activities across the Bay to learn about the contributions African Americans have made in the Tampa Bay community.
Join the Tampa Bay Black Excellence Challenge in honor of Black History Month!
I’ve teamed up with Karimah Henry of @craftingafunlife and Yelp to help families like yours celebrate Black History Month while supporting black owned businesses. Save their digital BINGO card to your phone and visit as many black owned businesses as you can. Get your whole family involved and turn it into a little friendly competition.
There are a variety of businesses to patronize, including Glowmour Beauty Medispa. Shop small and local at businesses such as a gym, hair studio, restaurant or pharmacy. Play along and tag @tampabaybec on Instagram! You can discover local black owned businesses and explore more Black History Month events by tampablackexcellencechallenge.com.
Tour the Travails & Triumphs exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center
801 Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602
This permanent exhibit tells the 500-year story of Black History in Tampa Bay. You’ll find the exhibit on the third floor of the museum as you come up from the main staircase.
There are five stations with interactive screens that tell stories through maps. You’ll learn about Estevanico, one of the enslaved Africans brought to Tampa in the early 1500s and one of the earliest names of an African we have on record. He developed a relationship with Native Americans and served as a guide and interpreter for the exposition, according to curator Fred Hearns.
While you’re at the museum, be sure to stop for lunch at the Columbia Café and maybe even take a stroll along the Riverwalk and play at the nearby Cotanchobee Park playground behind Amalie Arena. tampabayhistorycenter.com
110 Marshall St., Clearwater, FL 33755
The museum is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am-2pm and by appointment only on Fridays.
Visit the Carter G Woodson African American Museum
2240 Ninth Ave. S., St. Pete, FL 33712
Schedule a tour with your family to learn about iconic African American leaders. Full details can be found at www.woodsonmuseum.org.
Tampa Black History Month Events
36th Annual City of Tampa Black History Celebration: February 16 at 11 am
Celebrate the people and organizations who protect and illuminate revered family traditions. Kiva Williams is the keynote speaker. This year’s theme is Family Unity: Rooted in Wisdom.
Black History Month Tours and Events with Tampa Bay History Center
The Tampa Bay History Center has a few events on schedule. To secure your spot, register in advance at tampabayhistorycenter.org.
- An Evening in Celebration of Frederick Douglass: Wednesday, Feburary 7 from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
- Black History Month Reception: Friday, February 23 from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
Attend a movie screening during the Black Love Classics Series at Tampa Theatre | Throughout February
- Soul Food: Sunday, January 28 at 3 pm
- Sister Act: Sunday, February 4 at 3 pm
- Peeples: Sunday, February 11 at 3 pm
- This is It! The Miracle of BBQ: Sunday, February 18 at 3 pm
- Daughters of the Dust: Sunday, February 25 at 3pm
UNCF Tampa Bay Black History Month 5K Walk for Education | Saturday, February 10 from 8 am-1 pm
Head to Perry Harvey Park in Tampa for the annual Black History Month Walk for Education. This is more than a walk/run–you and the family can follow the history-based path to learn more about local black leaders through the history of our community. There will be live entertainment, kids zone and more!
- The Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library (1505 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa) pays homage to the historic Black neighborhood of Central Avenue. An interactive mini-museum features interactive displays and exhibits that highlight the importance of the historic Central Avenue business district and other facets of African American life, history and culture. Families can also enjoy learning about African American genealogy with an African-American-focused genealogy reference collection.
- The C. Blythe Andrews Jr. Public Library (2607 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa) houses the historical Florida Sentinel Bulletin newspaper, a local African American newspaper that highlighted African American life in Tampa. Learn about the achievements of Editor-in-chief C. Blythe Andrews Jr. and his impact and influence on African American media in Tampa. Visitors can also browse through bound copies of the Florida Sentinel Bulletin newspaper dating back to the 1940s.
St. Pete Black History Month Events
2024 Publix Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival | February 17 from 9 am-5pm
2240 9th Ave. S., St. Pete, FL 33712
Learn the rich history of collard greens in the African American community. Enjoy workshops, shopping and food at this fun family festival that occurs one day only, Saturday Feb. 17. Full details are at www.tbcgf.org.
Clearwater/ Largo Black History Month Events
905 N. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33755
Hosted by the Clearwater Public Library System, Clearwater African American Remembrance Committee and the Clearwater Historical Society. This annual event honors, celebrates and promotes African American history and culture in Clearwater, Florida.
*Photog credit: Miyah Jones Photography | Updated for 2024 events.
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