Black Neighborhoods and Churches Focus of USF Institute on Black Life April 9 Symposium

TAMPA, Fla. (March 26, 2008) – The University of South Florida Institute on Black Life hosts its annual Spring Symposium, “Memory, Culture and Community: African-American Life in Tampa” April 9 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church, 1006 West Cypress Street. This event involves residents from various communities in Hillsborough County who will share history as they experienced it along with exhibits of memorabilia. Registration is $15, which includes all conference materials and lunch.

As part of the symposium a History Bus Tour will be given the day before, April 8, departing from Beulah Baptist Institutional Church at 9 a.m. and returning at noon. There will be four stops: the once-segregated Tampa Union Railroad Station built in 1912; the Slave Burial Ground at Oaklawn Cemetery dating back to 1850; the Paradise Missionary Baptist Church site from 1891(now Allen Temple AME Church) in the Historic Central Avenue District; and the Tampa Bay Hotel, constructed between 1888 and 1891. There is a separate charge of $10 for the bus tour.

“History is all around us and right under our feet,” noted IBL Director Cheryl Rodriguez, USF professor of anthropology. “There is a treasure-trove of knowledge amidst so many of the people and places we pass every day and take for granted. It’s time to stop, take note, share memories and celebrate what has been established in this community.”

The symposium will feature histories of Beulah Baptist Institutional, St. James House of Prayer, St .Paul AME and St. Peter Claver Churches as well as the Carver City/Lincoln Gardens, Progress Village, Sulphur Springs and Bealsville communities. There will also be a session on historic landmarks and exhibits of church and community artifacts and photographs. For more information, call (813) 974-9387 or e-mail

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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