Hey everyone...Travis back with an update from our friends at the Tampa Bay History Center.  Black History Month at the Tampa Bay History Center kicks off on February 1 with the opening of Shades of Greatness: Art Inspired by Negro Leagues Baseball (and exhibit I plan to attend at least once). 

On loan from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, this multimedia collection of artwork highlights an often-overlooked part of baseball history. The exhibit also includes objects and photos of Tampa and Florida Negro League teams and players from various private collections as well as the Tampa Bay History Center’s collection.

The exhibit will be on display until April 25th, 2010 in the Third Floor Gallery and is included in the History Center’s general admission price.

Then, on February 14th, the History Center welcomes Dr. Canter Brown, Jr., Professor of History at Ft. Valley State University in Georgia, for a lecture -- The Flowering of Tampa’s African American Community at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century.

His presentation will focus on Tampa between the years 1898 and 1905 when Tampa’s African American population began to grow in number. Following his presentation, Dr. Brown will hold a book signing for his new publication, The Varieties of Women’s Experiences: Portraits of Southern Women in the Post-Civil War Century.

The event will take place in the History Center’s TECO Hall at 2:00 pm and is free and open to the public.

Next, on February 18th at 10:30 am, the History Center’s Book Group will meet to discuss The Odyssey of an African Slave, by Sitiki, a powerful narrative of the life of an African-born slave recently published by University Press of Florida.

The book group discussion will be followed by a visit from the book’s editor, Patricia Griffin, on February 21st at 3:00 pm as part of the Florida Conversations Lecture Series. Florida Conversations is co-sponsored by the University of South Florida Libraries Florida Studies Center and the Tampa Bay History Center.

The lecture will take place in the History Center’s TECO hall and is free and open to the public.

Finally, on February 20th at 3:00 pm, the History Center welcomes Dr. Raymond Doswell, Vice President of Curatorial Services of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. Doswell will discuss the History Center’s traveling exhibit, Shades of Greatness, and how the exhibit reflects the history and social thread of the Negro Leagues from roughly 1920 through 1960. Dr. Doswell’s lecture will take place in TECO Hall and is free and open to the public.

So there you go...get out and celebrate Black History Month at the Tampa Bay History Center.  And keep checking back here for more great things to do in Tampa Bay, and other Tampa Bay area events.