ST PETERSBURG BRANCH of the ASSOCIATION for the STUDY of AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE and HISTORY, Inc. (“ASALH, Inc.”) SUMMARY of EVENTS for 2018 Summarized by Ms. Jennifer Gamble-Theard, Branch Historian
The St Petersburg Branch of ASALH had a very exciting “2018” year with many productive, exciting and reflective activities. The history for 2018 is listed as follows: January - On January 27, 2018, our first meeting of the year was at the Carter G. Woodson Museum. We began this year with the documentary, ”Veterans Of Color”, which was a tribute to the many African Americans who served in the United States Military. The film presentation was followed by a panel discussion, along with Q. and A. Also, the St Petersburg ASALH branch recognized our very own members, esteemed retired military officers, Colonel Ronalda Hobson and Lt. Colonel Ashby Hobson along with St Petersburg resident, distinguished Brigadier General Cary Nero (retired).
February - This was a very busy month as we presented our annual Black History Month Gala and Dinner at the St Petersburg Country Club on February 16. The focus for this year was on the, Young, Talented and Black youth that are connected to our ASALH St Pete Branch members. In particular, we had the opportunity to have as our speaker for this year the prize winning African American author and Tulane University professor, Dr. Ladee Hubbard, who is also the talented daughter of our wonderful and hard working Branch president, Jacqueline Hubbard, ESQ.
Dr. Hubbard presented highlights from her must read/captivating novel, “The Talented Ribkins”. Afterwards, there was very successful book signing party.
March - On March 24, we began an African-American documentary film series at the Carter G. Woodson Museun. We reached out into the broader community to invite potential participants be a part of our film series. The first film was “Africa’s Great Civilizations - Part l”. A number of people from around the community were in attendance. The attendees expressed gratitude to us for being there and showing such dynamic historical information about Africa.
April - On April 26, the film series continued with “The Legacy of the Black Medical Schools and Departments in the United States”. There was a robust discussion after the film in which current statistics were presented about how many Black medical schools still exist and the average number of African Americans that are admitted into all U.S. medical schools, as well as the need for African American doctors in areas with significant Black populations.
May - This was quite a busy month at home and abroad. Thanks to the organizing efforts of our members Ashby and Ronalda Hopson, a trip to Senegal and Gambia Africa was a great success. ASALH members and friends experienced a wonderful mix of many tours and exciting activities. A very reflective part of our tour in Senegal was on Goree Island, one of several slave deportation sites on Africa’s west coast. A most delightful activity in particular was being the guest of the American Ambassador to Gambia, C. Patricia Alsup, who is a St Petersburg native. After returning home from Africa, the travel group was back just in time to see the last documentary in the film series on May 26, “Africa’s Great Civilizations - Part ll
June - What a great way to bring an “End Of Season Gathering” on June 23 at the Callaloo Restaurant located in the Historic African American neighborhood of St Petersburg. Many members gathered together to break bread and discuss our future plans and activities in the coming months.
July - Communication and details were done via email regarding the many important business related matters for ASALH both national and local.
August - Plans were initiated for upcoming programs and activities during the fall and winter. Such plans included honoring our ASALH member, author, professor, and one of the nation’s leading civil rights historians, Dr. Ray Arsenaught at the dinner gala in February 2019. In addition, we began organizing details for the film screening of “Rosenwald” for a future date.
September - On September 29, the ASALH St Petersburg Branch was back in action at the Carter G. Woodson Museum. There was a presentation of Stanley Nelson’s film “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities”. At that particular ASALH session, we were honored to have as our guest a group of high school students in attendance.
October - Another busy month for many of our dedicated ASALH members. There was a road trip on 10/6 - 10/7 to Montgomery, Alabama by several members who visited the Justice Initiative Museum/Memorial and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice which was dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people terrorized by lynchings. Our president, Jacqueline Hubbard; vice president, Irene Pridgen; ASALH member blogger Dr. Ron Sheehy and Mrs. Sheehy; and a few other members were a part of that unforgettable and solemn experience.
Branch historian, Jennifer Gamble-Theard attended the ASALH 103rd Annual Meeting and Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. Everyone gathered back together at the Woodson Museum on October 27 for a visual presentation and seminar discussion about “What ASALH Learned on its Trip to Africa in 2018”, presented by the members who were on the trip to Africa.
November - The main emphasis of ASALH members for this month was to attend the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on November 17 where two of our Black History Month authors and speakers were the featured literary writers.
December - “Happy Birthday Dr. Woodson”...On December 16, members and friends of the ASALH St Petersburg and Manasota Branches joined together in a festive celebration for Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s birthday at the lovely home of Dr. Mendee Ligon. We had a wonderful gathering in the spirit of the holiday season and observance of Dr. Woodson’s birthday. We can thank Dr. Woodson in spirit for keeping us focused throughout 2018 and guiding us into this new year.
In addition, other activities that have been continuous with our ASALH St Petersburg Branch are monthly officers meetings on the first Monday of each month, and weekly community newspaper Black history articles written by St Petersburg Branch ASALH president, Jacqueline Hubbard, ESQ and St Petersburg Branch ASALH historian, Jennifer Gamble-Theard, M.Ed.
The financial team is always working hard to keep everything up to date. In fact, officers and members work hard together to keep all of ASALH’s guidelines and procedures, and the passion of Black life and history working smoothly.