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St. Petersburg Black history museum has a new name and fundraising partner

The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is now known as The Woodson African American Museum of Florida.
An architectural rendering of the future upgraded Woodson African American Museum of Florida.
An architectural rendering of the future upgraded Woodson African American Museum of Florida. [ Courtesy of Huff Gooden and WJ Architects ]
Published Oct. 14
Updated Oct. 15

ST. PETERSBURG — The history center formerly known as the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum has a shorter name and a new partner in its effort to build an upgraded facility.

Now known as The Woodson African American Museum of Florida, they announced on Tuesday that the Pinellas Community Foundation will help raise $27 million needed to build and operate a 30,000-square-foot facility.

According to the foundation’s website, they are “a charitable organization that offers support, resources, and information to address the needs of the people and nonprofit organizations of Pinellas County.”

Since its founding in 1969, the foundation has helped to raise and distribute more than $86 million to over 400 charities, including The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg for “touchless sinks for public restrooms to minimize the spread of germs and built-in wireless access points in its galleries for hearing-assisted devices,” says the website.

An architectural rendering of the future upgraded Woodson African American Museum of Florida.
An architectural rendering of the future upgraded Woodson African American Museum of Florida. [ Courtesy Huff Gooden and WJ Architects ]

“The African American experience in St. Petersburg and our country has too often been ignored, an after-thought, relegated to a space that limits or narrowly defines its impact rather than celebrating its importance,” the foundation’s CEO Duggan Cooley said in a prepared statement.

Named for Carter Godwin Woodson, who is considered the father of Black historians, The Woodson African American Museum of Florida is currently located in a 4,000-square-foot facility at 2240 9th Ave. S.

Related: Ralph Wimbish Jr. wants St. Petersburg to honor his father, too

Its future location is more than five acres of city-donated land along 22nd Street South in the neighborhood known as The Deuces, “once a thriving epicenter for Black businesses and culture during segregation,” the museum’s media release says.

The city of St. Petersburg has also allotted $1 million to the fundraising effort.

The new facility previously had a $20 million price tag. Terri Lipsey Scott, The Woodson executive director, said the added $7 million will help with initial operating costs.

“We’re excited,” she said. “Things are definitely on the up.”

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Carter G. Woodson.