The Tampa History Center will hold its annual Black History Reception on Friday, February 24. The keynote speaker is NFL Hall of Fame player Derrick Brooks. This year’s event caps off a month of special events celebrating Black History Month.

The Tampa Bay History Center will celebrate Black History Month this February with a number of special events. The monthlong celebration will culminate with a Black History Month Reception.

First up is Sangria and Stories: Tampa’s NFL History on Thursday, February 2 from 6-7:15 p.m. Fred Hearns, curator of black history, will lead the presentation. Tickets are $20.

On Wednesday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m., you can join Lisa Armstrong, Ph.D. as she shares stories and research from her quest to uncover the history of Carver City-Lincoln Gardens. This is a free event.

On Saturday, February 25 from 12 Noon-3 p.m., hear about the historic Rogers Park Golf Course and its service to the black community as told by Lionel Ballard, West Tampa native and outreach coordinator for First Tee of Tampa Bay. Gallery admission is included.

After a month of special events and previewing a new exhibit about local black history opening this summer, come on Friday, February 24 to the Tampa Bay History Center for the Black History Month Reception. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center’s TECO Hall. Tickets are $75. Advance tickets are required. Space is limited.

Derrick Brooks is the keynote speaker. On Thursday, January 26, Tampa celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Bucs’ first Super Bowl win with Brooks as their co-captain. This began his 14-year hall-of-fame career.

The reception will also honor Reverend Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., a native of Tampa. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and has spent decades as a Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator and lecturer on strategy and nonviolent social change. The reception will include the presentation of an award named for Dr. LaFayette for preserving and honoring black history. He is the author of In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma.

In addition, funds will be presented to an outstanding Thurgood Marshall History Club at a Hillsborough County middle school. Local chapters allow students to learn, discuss and participate in activities related to black history.

For more information on events and the Tampa Bay History Center, which is located at 801 Water St. in downtown Tampa, please visit

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