There is a constant loss of local black history as older people die and the stories are not recorded. Local schools do not teach local history and local libraries do not have any books or resources about local history. In other words, all the rich and empowering history of the Civil Rights, Jim Crow and Segregation eras are lost and the black youth is growing without a sense of the thriving black communities that existed in history. Specifically, the area of interest is the historic African-American neighborhoods of St. Petersburg’s Midtown area in Tampa Bay, Florida.
We worked with Neighborhood News Bureau (NNB) to create an accessible and engaging educational tool that provides a map visualization and timeline of historical events. Students will be able to experience a guided tour of various stories automatically sorted in chronological order. Admins will be able to add more stories as more are uncovered. This tool is set to launch later this year in September/October in celebration of the 150 years since the arrival of the first black settlers to St. Petersburg in 1868.
The educational tool is both very sensible and very easy. We’ll be using this tool to teach local kids in school and eventually teach them how to code and add to these stories. This tool transforms local black history to mainstream history. The more we empower people to add to these stories, the better.