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The city of St. Petersburg should commit to Carter G. Woodson museum

Here’s what readers have to say in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Artist rendition of the new Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.  Presented at a press conference at the Manhattan Casino by the City of St. Petersburg, Tuesday, December 10, 2019. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Artist rendition of the new Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. Presented at a press conference at the Manhattan Casino by the City of St. Petersburg, Tuesday, December 10, 2019. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Jan. 8

City should be first, all in on new museum

Museum vision has a long way to go | Editorial, Jan. 3

One of the most glaring truths I encountered in my time representing the people of St. Petersburg is that we will never be a healthy, intact city capable of achieving our full destiny until and unless we openly acknowledge, apologize for and set a course for healing the legacy and wounds of bigotry, injustices and unfulfilled promises to our African American citizens past and present. St. Petersburg is not unique in that history. But St. Petersburg can be unique in its reconciliation and embrace of a joined future for our city. The cornerstone to that possibility is a Carter G. Woodson African American Museum that is a peer to the city’s amazing assembly of world class museums.

It is absolutely necessary that the people of the city be first in on the commitment and vision to build this future for itself. Mayor Rick Kriseman, his administration and the colleagues I served with are courageously setting out a path to obliterate the ceiling of mistrust and cynicism that our city’s past has left us with. They are taking point on a march to free our collective futures from the shackles of past injustices and repressions. The city’s dedication of land on the historic Deuces is the badge of leadership that is imperative to sustaining that march and enlisting private participation from all quarters.

Yes, very significant private contributions will be required. And the first question that will be asked in those discussions is: “What is the city in for?" That question has been answered, There will be a new Carter G. Woodson African American Museum on the Deuces that will be another jewel in the crown of St. Petersburg’s world-class museums. The march is on. Join the march.

Charlie Gerdes, St. Petersburg

The writer served on the St. Petersburg City Council from 2012 to 2020.

Pursue the museum vision

Museum vision has a long way to go | Editorial, Jan. 3

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman hugs Terri Lipsey Scott, Executive Director of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum during a press conference in December. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]

I am disappointed by the short-sighted editorial about the future of the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. The land the city has offered will ensure recognition of the struggles and contributions of an often forgotten and under-served population in St. Petersburg will get its rightful place. The location is appropriate and symbolic. We must not allow the importance of this corridor to be forgotten or gentrified out of existence.

I have had the privilege of witnessing different programming at the museum and the ways it works tirelessly to lift up and celebrate young people of color. The staff may be small, but do not doubt the commitment, compassion and drive of anyone involved. There are many people, like me, who are eager to help the Woodson museum attain its rightful place in a city so rich in cultural institutions. The past and future of St. Petersburg’s African American heritage will shine when this project is completed.

Richard Reynolds, Gulfport

Trump should be the hero

Iran mourns, vows to hit back | Jan. 7

Mourners attend a funeral ceremony for Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and his comrades, who were killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone strike on Friday, in the city of Kerman, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. The leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guard threatened on Tuesday to "set ablaze" places supported by the United States over the killing of a top Iranian general in a U.S. airstrike last week, sparking cries from the crowd of supporters of "Death to Israel!" (Erfan Kouchari/Tasnim News Agency via AP) [ERFAN KOUCHARI | AP]

There was a time when the president of the United States took out an assassin, a killer of innocent people and Americans, he would be hailed a hero. Because the liberal left has seeded such deep hatred in the minds of so many, all of a sudden Donald Trump is the evil one. It’s a very sad day for this country when a president does the right thing but because of the hatred so many have for him they will surely find him at fault.

Anna Carletti, Tampa

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