Documentary explores Tampa Black business district, 1967 riot

FROM STAFF REPORTS

A documentary titled “Tampa Technique: Rise, Demise, and Remembrance of Central Avenue’’ analyzes the strategic and calculated Civil Rights Movement in Tampa through the lens of Central Avenue.

Segregation created the thriving Black business district before a 1967 riot led to its physical and symbolic destruction.

University of South Florida instructor and Tampa journalist Travis Bell produced the hour-long documentary “Tampa Technique’’ as his dissertation project.

The film will debut at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at the Robert W. Saunders Sr. Public Library, 1505 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa. The event, hosted by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists, is free and open to the public.

Joyner on panel
The date is significant because it is the eve of the 50th anniversary of Martin Chambers’ death that sparked the 1967 civil unrest. A panel discussion will follow the film screening in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists.

Panelists will include Clarence Fort, who organized the 1960 lunch counter sit-in at Woolworth’s; former State Senator Arthenia Joyner, whose father, Henry Joyner, owned the last business on Central Avenue; and pioneer journalist Dayle Greene.

Begins in park
“Tampa Technique’’ explores the state’s first biracial committee, integration of public facilities and schools, urban renewal/removal, interstate construction, and the 1967 death of Chambers.

The documentary begins and ends in Perry Harvey, Sr. Park to situate how Central Avenue is publicly memorialized.

“You couldn’t compensate for the years of living and community and all of the goodness, the goodwill, and all that Central Avenue had brought,” Joyner said. “All of that was devastated.”

For more information, contact Travis Bell at 727-465-4670 or via email at trbell@usf.edu.

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