SEN. ARTHENIA JOYNER: Along with the Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., in a celebration of legacy, leadership, and culture. PHOTO COURTESY OF BPRW

Staff Report

Tampa, Fla. (Black PR Wire) – This year’s third annual Tampa Bay History Center Black History Month Reception will feature distinguished guest speaker state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a trailblazing leader whose contributions have significantly impacted the course of history.

Joyner will share her insights and experiences, adding a powerful dimension to the evening of inspiration, recognition and cultural celebration, set to take place on Friday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m.

The event will be hosted at the Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Water St., Tampa. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the reception.

Civil rights legend the Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., a Tampa native, will join Sen. Joyner on the program.

LaFayette will present the annual award named in his honor, recognizing an individual who has played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting Black history throughout the years.

Guests will have the opportunity to have LaFayette autograph his book, “In Peace and Freedom,” at the reception.

For the first time, attendees will experience “Travails and Triumphs,” a new permanent exhibit covering 500 years of local Black history, providing a captivating journey through historical milestones.

Additionally, the event will feature an African fashion show with styles and colors from Ghana and Nigeria, courtesy of Tampa’s African Extravaganza. Guests are welcome to wear optional African attire.

In a special initiative, the Tampa Bay History Center will present a donation to a Hillsborough County elementary school with the most outstanding Thurgood Marshall History Club for the 2023-2024 school term. The contribution is aimed to support and encourage the next generation of leaders and historians.

Tickets for the third annual Black History Month Reception are $75 and can be purchased online at The price includes valet parking for attendees’ convenience.

The Tampa Housing Authority supports the event as the gold sponsor, exemplifying its commitment to fostering a community that values and preserves Black history.

The Tampa Bay History Center includes three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition space focusing on 12,000 years of Florida’s history and culture on Tampa’s Water Street.

The Smithsonian Affiliate museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, includes the Touchton Map Library and Florida Center for Cartographic Education, and the Witt Research Center, and is home to the Columbia Cafe.

One of Tampa’s premier cultural venues, the History Center’s handson, interactive exhibits and theaters provide an entertaining and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

The public is invited on Feb. 23 to join in celebrating the Tampa Bay area’s Black history, to honor remarkable individuals, and create lasting memories at the Tampa Bay History Center’s third annual Black History Month Reception.

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