Featured Collections

Florida Civil Rights oral history project

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Public Address on Progress Village

The Civil Rights Papers of Cody Fowler and Steven Lawson

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Fowler’s and Lawson’s papers document Tampa’s Bi-Racial Committee, the city’s Commission on Community Relations, as well as the numerous issues faced by Tampa’s African American population in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Dates: 1960 – 1974
Extent: 3 linear feet (6 boxes)

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

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Group Photo of AABG Team

The African American Burial Ground & Remembering Project

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The African American Burial Ground Project (AABGP) aims to recover and re-interpret African-American cemeteries in Florida. Learn about the project through oral history interviews and a timeline of African-American cemeteries in St. Petersburg, FL.

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Snow Family papers

407 342 Tomaro Taylor

The contents of the collection include correspondence, financial records, and business records dating from 1826 to 1873, and include original transaction records for the sale of enslaved people.

Dates: 1826-1873
Extent: 1 linear ft. (2 boxes)

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

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Welcome to the African American Experience in Florida Portal

In 2020,  the USF Libraries embarked on a project to leverage collections that document the African American community. As part of our efforts, we designed a portal that would highlight and share the stories of individuals, families, business, and communities preserved as part of the state’s long history and made available in Special Collections on the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses.

The portal you are visiting is just the beginning of a long-term project to highlight current and future materials that contribute to conversations about the African American experience in Florida. We look forward to preserving and sharing those stories with you.





Black-Owned Businesses


The Arts




General African-American History


Latest Blog Entries

Customers seated at the Progress Village Diner

Black Culinary Traditions in Tampa

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The menu of African American Tampans was remarkably resilient, preserved in part by the celebration of “soul food” and Black pride, both of which flowered in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Single page entry from the Federal Writers Project

Federal Writers Project records

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The Federal Writers project (FWP) was begun in 1935 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) and continued until 1942 when funding was diverted for WWII (Kennedy, 1990; Dolinar, 2016). The project set out to produce a series of guidebooks, one for each state, that captured the customs and lore of…

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AA Sheet Music Cover Image

Expanding Access to the Bank of America Black American Music Collection

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Music by J. Eubie Blake The USF Libraries’ Bank of America Black American Music Collection, commonly referred to as the African American Sheet Music Collection, was acquired in 1988. Approximately 4,000 sheets and scores comprise the collection, which spans nearly two centuries of popular music. The collection features pieces written, produced, published, and performed by…

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