TAMPA, Fla. — February is Black History Month. The brainchild of historian Carter G. Woodson, the month has been recognized by every U.S. president since 1976 as a time to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans and recognize their pivotal role in U.S. history.
There are a number of events, both online and in-person, around the Tampa Bay area for those looking to learn more about the significance of the month and further their understanding that Black history is American history.
Black History Month Flag Raising Ceremony: History will be made as Mayor Ken Welch, St. Petersburg's first Black mayor, raises the Woodson flag over City Hall to mark the start of Black History Month.
Noon, Feb.1 | St. Petersburg City Hall, 175 5th Street North
Central Avenue West Walking Tour: Take a walk down what was once known as Tampa’s “Black Wall Street," led by Tampa Bay History Center Curator of Black History, Fred Hearns. Tour is free with registration.
3 – 4:30 p.m., Feb. 6 | St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 502 E. Harrison St., Tampa
Speak The Dream: Why We Tell The Story: Listen and participate in a discussion with influential shapers of St. Pete’s creative community, hosted by The Studio @ 620 and American Stage. Admission is free but advanced reservations are needed.
6-7 p.m. reception, 7-9 p.m. discussion, Feb. 7 | The Studio @ 620, 620 1st Ave S, St. Petersburg
Local Stories Live: Black in Business: Participants can connect with local Black business owners for lively discussions on what it takes to survive and thrive as a small business. This free event can be attended in person or live-streamed online.
9 – 9:45 a.m., Feb. 11 | Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, 2101 East Palm Avenue, Tampa
African-American Artifacts of Tampa Bay: Get a behind-the-scenes look at some seldom-seen artifacts at the Tampa Bay History Center’s TECO Learning Center. The guided event is free with museum admission.
Noon, Feb. 15 | 801 Water Street, Tampa
Florida Conversations: African American Burial Grounds and Remembering Project: Learn how people across the country and the Tampa Bay area can counter Black cemetery erasures with a conversation led by Dr. Antoinette Jackson, chair of USF’s Department of Anthropology and founder of the Black Cemetery Network. The event is free with registration in-person or via Zoom and Facebook Live.
6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Feb. 16 | TECO Hall, Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water Street, Tampa
7 - 9 p.m., Feb. 21 | American Stage Lobby, 163 3rd Street North, St. Petersburg
UNCF 2022 Black History Month Luncheon: Celebrate Black History Month and help raise money for Tampa-area students to reach their educational goals.
12-1:30 p.m., Feb. 24 | Tampa River Center at Julian B. Lane Park, 402 W Laurel Street, Tampa
St. Petersburg Black History Bike Tour: Pedal along a 5-mile loop while visiting the sites where Black history was made in St. Pete. If you can't make this free event in February, the tour is hosted on several other dates through April.
9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Feb. 26 | Chief's Creole Cafe, St. Petersburg
Sankofa Cultural Black History Market: Shop for African apparel, homemade jewelry and beauty products, crafts and foods from more than 50 Black-owned local businesses. The free event will also feature music, dancing performances, showcases and more.
11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Feb. 26 | 1924 East Comanche Avenue, Tampa
For the Love of Black Art: A formal ticketed event representing Black excellence. Guests will enjoy an art gallery experience, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and networking opportunities while enjoying live R&B music. Proceeds benefit local black artists and minority high school students entering college. Tickets range from $40 – $115.
6 – 11 p.m., Feb. 26 | 1600 East 8th Avenue, Suite A200, Tampa
"Jazz Sings the Blues" feat. the Scotty Wright Quintet: Enjoy a varied program of the blues, seen, heard and felt from a jazz perspective. Tickets range from $25-$30.
3 – 5 p.m., Feb. 27 | Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 9th Avenue South, St. Petersburg
Never Stop Talking It: Celebrate the past, present and future of the Black Arts Movement in America with the premiere of "Rise: An African American Word Quilt." The event is free and seats can be reserved here.
6 - 9 p.m., Feb. 28 | American Stage Lobby, 163 3rd Street North, St. Petersburg
Black Heritage Month at the University of South Florida: USF is hosting events throughout February aimed at educating both the USF and Tampa Bay area community on the importance of the history and significance of Black culture.
All month long | University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue
Black History Month with the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative: The group is hosting a number of free online and in-person events throughout the month including film screenings, book discussions and Black History Month Jeopardy. You can also check out playlists, book recommendations and historic photos showcasing Black History Month.
All month long | Libraries throughout Hillsborough County
"Black Healing" at New College: The month-long program includes a performance series, lecture series, film festival, and several showcases celebrating Black History. The events are free and open to the public.
All month long | New College of Florida, 5800 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota