ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum is an excellent place to learn about the Father of Black History Month, as well as the African American culture in the Bay area.
“We here at the Dr. Carter G Woodson African American History Museum take delight in not only preserving, presenting but interpreting African American history,” said Terri Lipsey Scott, executive director of the museum. “We celebrate the contributions of those past, but more importantly those of our community of current.”
The museum features bits of information about Dr. Woodson, but a fact not in the museum is that Dr. Woodson was selected as, “the doodle for Google.” Scott continued by saying that, “his popularity is growing, particularly with this generation.”
“It wasn’t until 1976, that we begin celebrating Black History Month as a result of him introducing in 1926, the study of Negro history week,” said Scott.
The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum is the only museum in St.Petersburg dedicated to African American history. What makes this museum different than others is, “We’re the only museum that does not sit on sit on the pristine waterfront, but that’s nestled in a community where the rich history was in fact cultivated,” said Scott.
The museum is free to the public, but the staff kindly requests donations.
“We take pride in being able to showcase the talented work of so many artists throughout the Bay area and beyond,” said Scott.
“The Dr. Carter G Woodson African American History Museum, in fact, hosts every six to eight weeks a new exhibit. Because of the limited space that we have here,” Scott continued, “We are prideful in order to just showcase the talented art of African American artists who have never been seen or shown anywhere else, locally, nationally, or internationally and beyond.”
Many art pieces do not get the opportunity to be showcased and are often stored away in garages. The museum provides a forum for artists to get a chance to display their art.
The museum also hosts a number of activities, such as book clubs and piano lessons. “We’re the home of the One City Chorus,” Scott said, “Who practice here every week, and they sing songs of the Civil Rights Movement.”
On Feb. 1, 2018, St. Petersburg’s City Hall held a flag ceremony honoring the Woodson flag. The flag was raised at 10 a.m., marking the beginning of Black History Month. Across the nation, the city of St. Petersburg is the only place that raises the Woodson flag on a government entity.
In addition to the One City Chorus, the museum partners with The Florida Orchestra, and once a month from January through April, the museum hosts one of their segments.
The grounds of the museum used to be a community center, Jordan Park. In the early 2000s, the space was renovated. Behind the museum is a Legacy Garden. It features bricks with donors’ names on them. The garden is an ongoing fundraiser for the museum.
Scott is, “delighted that folks are embracing not only the culture of African American history, but looking back, and recognizing and in fact celebrating the individual who in fact brought it to the forefront.”
Here is the news brief that aired on Florida Focus featuring the Woodson Museum.