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Black History Month

Colorful African fabric

Carter Godwin Woodson roadside sign


In 1926 Carter A. Woodson pioneered the observance of Black History Week. And in 1976, President Jimmy Carter designated February as Black History Month.

Established in the 1970s, the PHSC Black History Month celebrations continue to inform and educate faculty, staff, students and the community about African-American history.  

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Walter L. Smith, Ph.D., is the author of The Magnificent Twelve: Florida’s Black Junior Colleges. The book recounts the creation and disappearance of twelve black junior colleges that were established during the integration battles in the mid-1950s. 

Dr. Smith's accomplishments are prime examples of the opportunities adult education and two-year college attendance can afford someone. Smith was a high school dropout who later received his GED when he was 23. He attended and graduated from one of the Magnificent Twelve schools, Gibbs Junior College in St. Petersburg and earned baccalaureate and master's degrees from Florida A&M University and his doctorate in higher education from Florida State University.

Smith was president of FAMU from 1977-1985.  He was named International Team Leader for Education in the Republic of South Africa where he helped establish the first American-style community college. He also served as a United States Monitor of the historic 1994 democratic election in South Africa that marked the end of apartheid.

After his retirement in 2002, Dr. Smith founded the Dr. Walter L. Smith Library in Tampa to provide students a place to learn. In 2008, Smith was awarded the Florida Education Association’s “Human and Civil Rights Leadership Award” for his work in developing desegregation plans for the U.S. Department of Education in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Scheduled Events

Our Black History Month events are over for this year. Please check back later.