Black History Month Reception

Friday, February 24, 2023

Black History Month Reception logo

Honoring Champions
of our Community


Join us for the Black History Month Reception after a month of
special programming and previewing a new exhibit about local Black history
opening this summer at the History Center.

The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023,
at the Tampa Bay History Center’s TECO Hall, 801 Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602.
Individual tickets are $75. Advance tickets are required. Space is limited.

Black History Month Reception logo

Derrick Brooks

Derrick Brooks

Derrick Brooks was born and raised in Pensacola, FL. He grew up with many challenges, yet reached past all of his struggles and became a first-round NFL draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995. On Jan. 26, 2023, Tampa celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Bucs’ first Super Bowl win with Brooks as their co-captain. This began his 14-year, Hall of Fame career. Brooks is now the Executive Vice President of Corporate and Community Development for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In his career, he pushed himself. He recorded 2,198 tackles which is the most in franchise history. He often proved that defense can turn the tide of a game by scoring eight defensive touchdowns, the second most in Buccaneers history.

Brooks played 14 seasons, with 25 interceptions, 6 All-Pro selections, and played in 11 Pro Bowls. At Florida State University (FSU), he was a two-time consensus All-American. He was induction into the Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame in August 2014.

At FSU Brooks excelled as an athlete and, most importantly, as a student. He earned his Bachelor’s degree and, after being drafted by the Buccaneers, went back to FSU and earned his Master’s Degree in Business Communications. Derrick’s passion for education and inspiring young people led him to begin his charitable work in the community. As driven as Derrick Brooks was to build his career, he poured himself into his family and community. Legacy is at the heart of his drive. First and foremost, the glory for the greatness he has achieved he turns over to God. Following that, he recognizes that life itself is a team game, perhaps the ultimate team game. And this is why his community efforts are so imperative to him. This is why a simple conversation with a young girl has turned into the array of programs that Derrick Brooks Charities focuses on today. He has learned through a life of hard knocks and knocking hard back, that mental fortitude is critical to the game, and it doesn’t happen by chance. It is the culmination of training, diligence, and vision. Brooks is co-founder of the Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School in Tampa.

Tampa Bay History Center, Black History Month Reception, Benard LaFayette photo

Honoring Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., a native of Tampa, Fla., co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and has spent decades as a Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator, and lecturer on strategy and nonviolent social change.

Today, he is the chairperson of the International Nonviolence Executive Planning Board. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Almond appointed him as chairman of the Rhode Island Select Commission on Race and Police-Community Relations. Dr. LaFayette is a Senior Scholar in Residence at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

The reception will include the presentation of an award named for Dr. LaFayette for preserving and honoring  black history. He is the author of “In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma.”

Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. Award for the Preservation of Black History and Heritage

Be part of this uplifting gathering honoring the transformational leadership of Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. Dr. LaFayette embodies the courageous spirit that helped lead the Civil Rights Movement.

Thurgood Marshall History Club set to receive special funding

Thurgood Marshall History Club set to receive special funding

In partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools, the History Center will also award funding to an outstanding Thurgood Marshall History Club at a Hillsborough County middle school. Local chapters allow students to learn, discuss, and participate in activities related to Black history.


(February 24, Reception Only)

Please approach the front of the History Center by driving eastbound on Water St. from Franklin St.
(Amalie Arena will be on your left and Cotanchobee Park on your right.)

Please do not approach the History Center from Meridian Ave. or Beneficial Dr. to ease traffic congestion.

Uniformed valet attendants will greet you upon arrival.
We have partnered with The Car Park to provide complimentary valet for Black History Month Reception guests.

Self-parking is also available and with the incredible development of Water Street Tampa,
there are more public parking options within a 6-minute walk of the History Center.


Black History Month Reception 2022
Black History Month Reception 2022