TAMPA — A special report June 23 in the Tampa Bay Times revealed that a major African-American cemetery had vanished from public view a century ago and that 800 or more bodies might still lie beneath the ground.
In the weeks that followed, ground-penetrating radar confirmed the report, people living on the property are being relocated, and steps are being taken to turn the 2½-acre property along North Florida Avenue into a memorial park.
REDDIT CONVERSATION: A lively discussion of Zion Cemetery on the social media channel
What becomes of Zion Cemetery remains to be seen, but the story so far is the subject of a free panel discussion open to the public 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Tampa Bay History Center downtown.
The Story of Zion Cemetery, co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, is the latest in the History Center’s series Florida Conversations.
The panel will feature Paul Guzzo and James Borchuck, the Times staff members who broke the story, as well as Rebecca O’Sullivan of the Florida Public Archaeology Network and Leroy Moore, senior vice president of the Tampa Housing Authority.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: How the story of forgotten cemeteries has unfolded in the Tampa Bay Times
The Florida Conversations series, cosponsored by USF Libraries and WUSF public media, features authors and presenters covering a variety of Florida topics, including politics, fiction, history and the environment.
RSVPs are requested, at (813) 228-0097.
The Tampa Bay History Center is at 801 Old Water St., just east of Amalie Arena.