Black History in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties, Florida


As Black History Month unfolds, it is essential to delve into the local narratives that have shaped the African American experience in different regions of the United States. Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties in Florida boast a vibrant and diverse history, deeply intertwined with the contributions of the African American community. This article aims to spotlight some key events, figures, and milestones that have left an indelible mark on the black history of these counties.

Pinellas County:

    a. St. Petersburg's Deuces Live Historic District:
    One of the focal points of African American history in Pinellas County is the Deuces Live Historic District in St. Petersburg. Formerly known as 22nd Street South, the Deuces was a thriving business and cultural hub for the black community during the era of segregation. Local businesses, jazz clubs, and theaters flourished, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Today, efforts are underway to preserve and revitalize this historic district, ensuring its legacy endures for future generations (Florida Humanities Council).

    b. Courageous Civil Rights Activists:
    Pinellas County was not immune to the challenges of the Civil Rights Movement. Local heroes like the Reverend Dr. Robert Swain, who led peaceful protests against segregation, and the Courageous 12, a group of black police officers who fought against discrimination within the St. Petersburg Police Department, played pivotal roles in breaking down racial barriers (Tampa Bay Times).


    Pasco County:

      a. Moore-Mickens Education Center:
      The Moore-Mickens Education Center in Dade City stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of the black community in Pasco County. Established in 1938 as a segregated school, it became a focal point for education and community activism. Today, the center houses a museum that chronicles the history of African American education in Pasco County, providing a vital link to the past (Pasco County Government).

      b. African American Heritage Trail:
      Pasco County's African American Heritage Trail showcases significant sites that have shaped the black history of the region. From historic churches to schools and cemeteries, the trail offers a glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of the local African American community (Visit Pasco).

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      Hillsborough County:

        a. Central Avenue and Ybor City:
        Hillsborough County's history is deeply intertwined with the rich legacy of Central Avenue in Tampa and the historic Ybor City district. In the early 20th century, Central Avenue became a bustling center of black culture, featuring businesses, theaters, and jazz clubs. Ybor City, known for its cigar industry, also played a role in providing economic opportunities for the African American community (Tampa Bay History Center).

        b. Clara Frye Hospital:
        Clara Frye Hospital, established in 1923 in Tampa, was a significant landmark in the history of African American healthcare. Founded by Clara Frye, an African American nurse, the hospital provided medical care to the black community during a time when segregated healthcare facilities were the norm (Tampa Bay History Center).

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        Exploring the rich tapestry of black history in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties unveils stories of resilience, perseverance, and cultural contributions that have shaped these communities. As we celebrate Black History Month, it is essential to acknowledge and honor the local heroes and landmarks that have played crucial roles in the ongoing journey toward equality and justice.  

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