Featured Collections

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

Exhibiting Tampa’s African American History

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The Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida features an impressive array of museum-style displays and vibrant public art after the facility was renovated recently. With an emphasis on the area’s history and African American population, the permanent displays explore the history of the historic black business district of Central Avenue…

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Federal Writers Project folders

Conscious Editing

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Archives and library professionals have been taking a closer look at their descriptive practices, with an eye toward reducing and eliminating offensive, derogatory, and outdated language and enhancing access to materials that otherwise might be left undiscovered. Deemed “conscious editing” by its practitioners, these initiatives serve to “bring an active, critical awareness of bias, privilege,…

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Digital Commons at USF banner

African American Experience in the U.S. Digital Collection

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The African American Experience in the U.S. (AAEUS) collection is one facet of the USF Libraries collection initiative to bring together resources that capture the rich history of research and discourse at USF on minority and underrepresented voices in the Tampa Bay Area, Florida, and greater United States. Hosted in Digital Commons @ USF, the collection…

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