Featured Collections

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 »

read more
Banquet brochure from the DuPree Press Collection

DuPree Press collection

978 1024 tcollinson

The DuPree Press collection consists of brochures, announcements, catalogs, and other publications printed by the DuPree Press for Black and African American organizations in the Tampa Bay area.

Dates: 1958-1994
Extent: 2 linear feet (5 boxes)

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

read more
Citrus Park Colored School

Citrus Park Colored School collection

984 712 tcollinson

The materials in this collection were assembled to document the historical and cultural role of the Citrus Park Colored School, which operated from 1925 to 1948.

Dates: 1921-1966
Extent: 2 boxes

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

read more
Cover of the Florida Black Heritage Trail

Norman E. Jones, Jr. Black Heritage collection

600 798 tcollinson

The materials in this collection document and describe African American historic sites in the United States and Canada.

Dates: 1960-2000
Extent: 5 boxes

Click here to access the collection’s finding aid »

read more

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


The Arts




General African-American History


Latest Blog Entries

Francisco Rodriguez, Jr.: Ybor City’s Champion of Equal Opportunity

431 340 Tomaro Taylor

On July 28, 1868, US Secretary of State William Seward announced that the Fourteenth Amendment had been ratified. Three years after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, the Fourteenth nullified the Dred Scott ruling, declaring that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” are citizens. The Fourteenth also includes the Equal Protection Clause, which…

read more

Independence Day Dissent

1024 420 Tomaro Taylor

Readers of the July 4, 1998, edition of The Weekly Challenger were confronted with a bracing front-page headline: “Independence Day Has Little Meaning to African-Americans.” “July 4th is a precious and patriotic holiday for most Americans,” the piece begins, “heralding the Declaration of Independence by the thirteen ‘American’ colonies from the mother country, Britain, in…

read more