Celebrating Tampa Bay's Rich African American History

Welcome, from the COTBHC President

I am honored to continue the promotion of an organization compiled of dedicated, hard-working, caring, and understanding individuals who honor the traditions of our past. To our community, and all who support the vision of the City of Tampa Black History Committee, Inc. and 36 years of promoting the value of African Americans in the City of Tampa and throughout our communities, welcome! We are excited that you would like to be involved and to have your support!

History. Culture. Scholarship.

Our Mission.

The City of Tampa Black History Committee, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting African American history, the importance of diversity, and scholastic achievement.

Our Membership.

Highlighting Cultural Legacy.

Serving the communities of the greater Tampa Bay Area.

Alejandro House Alexandria Jacobs Anita White Ardail Allen Arthur Parker Barbara Tripp BillieJo Slatton Bobby Bowden Bettye Greene Johnson**

Celeste Gibbons-Peoples Constance Andrews Debbie Mercer** Ferraro Jacobs Frank Crum Frank Woodard Gregory Hart Gregory Spearman Harold B. Scott** Janelle McGregor

JC Hudgison Jevon Harvin Jhordina Alexander Jillian Howard Katrina House LaChone Dock Lenoir Russell Marnita Richardson Milt Jenkins Mindi Rainey

Miray Holmes Ocea Wynn Regina Lock-DePass Rodneycia Cooper Rugina Castillo Shawn-Ta Wilson Shelisia Jackson Sherelle Crum Shirley Foxx-Knowles Suling Lucas

Taurus Gadsden Thomas Hester Tom Forward Tony McGee Venus Martinez Veronica Lee Vivian Walker Wanda Forbes Wanda Thompson** Vyone McClendinen Vivian Walker

**In loving Memory

Our Vision.

Celebrating Achievements.

Who We Are.

The City of Tampa Black History Committee, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization consisting of dedicated men and women who volunteer their time to focus on the continuing education of African American history and provide a legacy of education through annual scholarship awards.

Members of five subcommittees work tirelessly in the development of events and activities that promote and support the committees’ mission. Our Team is committed to serving the communities of the greater Tampa Bay Area.

The City of Tampa Black History Committee, Inc. will:

  • Acknowledge the work and talents of City employees.
  • Implement programs that inform people of all ethnic backgrounds about the rich cultural and historic aspects of black Americans and people of African descent.
  • Highlight the City’s cultural legacy.
  • Inspire people throughout Hillsborough County to internalize positive lessons from the past in order to do something distinctive and helpful in the present.

Our Rich History

In 1988, with the endorsement of Mayor Freedman, Bobby L. Bowden and several City of Tampa employees formed a team which became known as the City of Tampa Black History Committee. Mr. Bowden served as the committee’s first chair.

The committee created the City of Tampa’s first diversity-based celebration, the City of Tampa Black History Program.

Under the leadership of City Clerk Janett S. Martin, the committee produced a celebration that emphasized the promise, pride and splendor of the black experience.

Throughout these years, the committee also began to award scholarships to the children of City of Tampa employees which grew into a sustainable community program.

Bettye Green Johnson assumed the mantle as committee chair, and under her guidance the committee opened scholarship opportunities to deserving high school students within Hillsborough County. The committee additionally increased fundraising efforts.

The organization incorporated and gained 501(c)3 status, thereby becoming a non-profit organization.

Frank Crum built upon a foundation of community and corporate support by encouraging average men, women and children to achieve in every noble field of endeavors through the lessons found within history, biography and heritage.

With Mr. Crum continuing the tradition of COTBHC moving forward and keeping the organization ever changing and evolving, Mr. Crum connected COTBHC to the social media world via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Born and raised in Tampa, FL, COTBHC President Celeste Gibbons-Peoples has been actively involved in her community all of her life. She increased the organization's visibility, enhanced the committee’s scholarship efforts, and ensured the organization continued to provide educational opportunities for the community. Mrs. Gibbons-Peoples has implemented fundraising efforts to assure the continued educational efforts of our youth and young adults through the scholarship program with the start of the annual COTBHC Golf Tournament. This fundraiser has proven to be a fun and enjoyable event that has sold out numerous times and that continues to be one of the organization's most profitable fundraisers for the scholarship program. Favorite Scripture: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Under the leadership of Mrs. Katrina House, COTBHC stands to continue to be an asset in our community for our youth and young adults by ensuring that COTBHC continues to build upon a solid foundation by promoting our community leaders, sponsors, City employees, and all who make COTBHC successful.

We aspire to promote more community engagement by introducing our Pot-Luck in the Park, Day of Service, and the S.T.A.R.s initiative (Support To Award Recipients) which will provide opportunities for past and present COTBHC Scholarship Award recipients to serve as mentors to those entering their first year of college and/or trade school.