TAMPA BAY AREA CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE-Andrew Stelzer

06/04/04

Arnett Doctor, descendent of a rosewood massacre survivor.

ACT “The Ku Klux Klan was very active during the time we were demonstrating. White citizen council, one dressed in robes and overalls…..came to our meetings

ACT-doctor “Bob sanders came to us and said St Pete better be a part of it because St Pete is the retirement mecca…we had a false impression that racism was a small part of St Petersburg life..we had to sit behind the back sea…I was arrested for sitting on the bus..the problem was getting the kids to demonstrate; my mother didn’t know I was the president of the NAACP youth council

ACT-doctor “Snell is land was not a place we could even visit, same for Gulfport..as I said I said earlier the students at Florida Presbyterian college were our supporters, white supporters were pressured to withdraw…occasionally a member of the upper middle class would join us.

The University of South Florida St Pete used to be Florida Presbyterian College.

Omali Yeshitela, chainman of the St Petersburg chapter of the UHURU movement, and occasional co-host of a WMNF program.

ACT-omali There was an area called Methodist town, too black for tourists….Chester James, black churches, black businesses, changed the traffic patterns, now you have to drive around the interstate. Baseball team they destroyed our communities, we cant show our children where we got married.�

ACT-omali “There is an historical basis for the oppression of black people similar to that of people all over the world..reservations, ..Civil rights movement…the real contradiction is not how far we are from

Darrell Rousson, director of St. Petersburg Chapter of the NAACP

ACT “ I wasn’t here but I read about the body swaying on MLK, and I feel the pain of the community they lied to us, were not gonna tear down laurel park, dome, you negros be quiet….65 percent of the black owned businesses, titan cruise lines, negros be quiet. We gonna give you 300 jobs….ive been accused of pandering to the goodwill of white people but there is room for divergent people…Booker T Washington was in Europe…he pissed of the leaders of eth NAACP, we are not all trying to create liberation of the community…if I believed for one minute that midtown could exist in isolation, I don’t believe it…it saddens me that we have more black professionals. I don’t like to go down to AmSouth to beg for a dollar.

Sevell Brown the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Florida director

ACT “The would send us to Jacksonville that summer, man hit woman, black man defended her, first riot id ever been in…saw bullets…I experienced the violence�

ACT-brown “1965, I was geared up to go to Gibbs high, found out I’m going to Dixie-hollins…I got in my assembly..they made everybody stand and sing Dixie…they made us stand and sing, you gonna stand to the flag, they banned be from assembly..the basketball team boycotted…�

ACT-brown “1982-83 we tried to start the MLK parade, you going to have to take the parade south…that eventually led to the ACLU coming in…that was all she wrote in terms of Jim crow in St Pete, you change for crown control in terms of one but not the other.��

ACT-brown “There’s an accumulation of things that molds you this encounters mold you, ive been negro for 18 years, black foe the rest, irrespective the field negro is still here.�

James Ransom, is a long-time Tampa civil rights activist

ACT “My grandfather was a man who walked from Georgia on the railroad tracks….he became a farmer tailor, mortician, he founded insurance , became the largest black business in the southeast…he owned some land bought some land that was a public park where black people can go…I didn’t know…eventually mayor dick Greco developed the land…it might be better used, now its a golf course…it was going to be converted to not being a public facility.

ACT-ransom �It took us three years to rename MLK in Tampa, it goes from the airport through the county..through white, black community..it reflects where the sun rises in the east.�

Winnie Foster is an activist who has worked in St Petersburg for many years.

ACT ‘Bob told about the shootings in Gainesville, bob ended in speech by talking about the speech..the gentleman said we’ve got him now…in the movement those days, if you are going to be arrested in Florida don’t sneeze cause that’s resisted arrest..they hauled him through the crowd, the Vinoy, some student threw something, 2000 police in uniform with clubs swept the beat people, I saw them take a student from Gainesville, I started going through the polio asking for names, I observed a man I knew as the police reporter dressed as a protestor pointing out people for the police to arrest.�

comments powered by Disqus