TAMPA (Dec. 3, 2019)—What began as one reporter’s quest to uncover the truth about a long-forgotten African-American cemetery has mushroomed into a wide-ranging inquiry that is raising uncomfortable questions about the past and gaining national attention. The Tampa Tiger Bay Club presents a panel discussion Dec. 20 about how this investigation began, where it has led and why it matters.
Most of the lost graves are thought to be those of African-Americans, buried during the Jim Crow era. More than 130 caskets have been found at the site of what was once Zion Cemetery in Tampa Heights, on land now owned by the Tampa Housing Authority and restauranter Richard Gonzmart. Another 145 caskets have since been found beneath King High School. There are also reports of unmarked graves beneath an empty lot in Clearwater, in Ybor City and on MacDill Air Force Base.
The panelists will be Tampa Bay Times reporter Paul Guzzo, who first revealed the existence of Zion Cemetery in Tampa; Yvette Lewis, president of the Tampa NAACP; historian Rodney Kite Powell of the Tampa Bay History Center; and Leroy Moore, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Tampa Housing Authority.
The luncheon meeting will be at the Cuban Club, 2010 North Avenida Republica De Cuba (14th Street). Lunch will be served at 11:40 a.m. and the program begins promptly at noon. The cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. Only members can ask questions. Annual memberships are $75.
For tickets, go to tigerbayclub.com/tickets. To become a member go to tigerbayclub.com/join-tbc/. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tampa Tiger Bay Club is a nonpartisan political group that presents lively discussions on important issues and candidates running for office.