Date ArticleType
3/2/2020 Member News

Beaches, Benches, and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay Exhibition Extended in Response to Visitor Demand

Extended Through March 15th at The Florida Holocaust Museum

March 2, 2020 [St. Petersburg, FL] -- In response to visitor demand, The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) is thrilled to announce that the original exhibition Beaches, Benches and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay has been extended! The exhibition will be on display for an additional two weeks, now slated to close on March 15th. 

The focus of most Civil Rights history is written about places like Alabama and Mississippi, as if few challenges occurred elsewhere. Tampa Bay remained racially segregated at the dawn of the Civil Rights era and many local institutions and establishments held out on integration for several years after Brown v. the Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Under "Jim Crow" every aspect of African American life in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and their surrounding cities was segregated. Restricted covenants were in place that segregated residential neighborhoods. African American children had to attend segregated schools that were under-funded and often in disrepair. Blacks could only be cared for at "black only" hospitals, and other public and private establishments like restaurants and beaches were often segregated - if blacks were allowed in at all.

The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay may have had characteristics similar to other areas of the south but its stories are its own. This exhibition illuminates our region's struggle with racial equality and shine a light on the local leaders who changed our cities.

Beaches, Benches and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay originally slated to close on March 1st, will now be open to the public through Sunday, March 15, 2020 at The Florida Holocaust Museum.

The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. 

For additional information, please visit:


About The Florida Holocaust Museum

One of the largest Holocaust museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit

Photos and credits

Sanitation workers led by attorney James Sanderlin and Joe Savage picket for equal pay. 

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times

Beach at South Mole, St. Petersburg. 

Photo courtesy of the City of St. Petersburg

Helmeted Youth Patrol take to the streets in the Central Avenue area of Tampa, ca. June 14, 1967. 

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times

Protesters picket outside Tampa's movie theaters on June 20, 1963. 

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times

Employees of the Kress lunch counter in St. Petersburg close the counter during a sit-in on February 11, 1960. 

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times

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