Featured Collections

Group of African American Women

Ellen Haynes Green papers

921 735 tcollinson

This collection contains the personal papers Ellen Haynes Green and documents Green’s life and accomplishments as a civil rights leader, most notably as President of the Tampa chapter of the NAACP.

Dates: 1915-2006 (bulk: 1957-1992)
Extent: 0.50 linear feet (1 box)

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

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Papers of Norman E. Jones, Sr.

800 533 tcollinson

The papers of Norman E. Jones, Sr. include selected recordings, correspondence, documents, newspaper clippings, and photographs documenting his controversial opinions on racial integration, civil rights, the Black Power Movement, and Black Studies.

Dates: ca. 1960s-1970s
Extent: 7 boxes

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

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Portrait of Otis R. Anthony

Otis R. Anthony collection

800 600 tcollinson

The papers of community organizer and activist Otis R. Anthony include audio cassettes and compact discs, oral history transcripts, and biographical and historical essays conducted and written by Anthony.

Dates: 1977-2009
Extent: 1 box

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »
Click here to access the Otis R. Anthony African Americans in Florida Oral History Project »

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Snow Family papers

407 342 tcollinson

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, soon after the world learned of the death of George Floyd, USF Libraries Dean Todd Chavez wrote in an email that “Anyone watching the recent protests and demonstrations has to wonder, how will we solve the deep, ingrained problem of systemic racism? The Dean’s message continued by stating that the USF Libraries would contribute to the solution by leveraging existing collections to “promote peaceful solutions and promote social justice for all.” The USF Libraries Special Collections in Tampa and St. Petersburg are supporting that initiative by creating this portal.

Stories of racism against African Americans, ranging from narratives of the formerly enslaved to news reports about Black Lives Matter protests, are preserved in the USF Libraries archival collections that serve as the foundation for this portal. These collections are not only about the history of injustice, but also the regular daily lives of individuals, families, businesses, culture and communities during the state’s long history.

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





Black-Owned Businesses


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General African-American History


Latest Blog Entries

Single page entry from the Federal Writers Project

Federal Writers Project records

792 1024 Tomaro Taylor

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

779 1024 Tomaro Taylor

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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Booker T. Washington High School

150 150 Tomaro Taylor

Excelsior:  the senior class annual of Booker T. Washington High School.  Floridiana Collection, USF Libraries – Tampa Special Collections, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.  The first graduating class (1927) of Booker T. Washington High School saw massive changes during their four years at the first high school in Hillsborough County, FL available to African…

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