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Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Historic Harlem Academy / School #2

 
 
Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, 2010
1. Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker
Inscription.  
The historic Harlem Academy, known as "The Mother of African- American Schools," was the first public school erected for African- American children in Tampa.

The first classes were held in 1868 in the Hillsborough County Courthouse. In the early 1870s, the Freedmen's Bureau financed what became known as School No. 2. In 1889, a new building was constructed at the corner of Harrison and Morgan Streets, and the school was officially designated as the Harlem Academy. The goal of the Harlem Academy was to provide a quality education for its students and to encourage them to learn within and outside the classroom and to continue on to higher education.

In 1892, Harlem Academy was destroyed in a fire. Thomas McKnight and other members of Tampa's African-American community raised funds to rebuild the school. St. Paul A.M.E. and other churches provided space until a new building was completed in 1895. This structure was replaced by a brick building in 1912. Many prominent African-American citizens were involved with the school. Christina A. Meacham and Andrew J. Ferrell, Jr., once principals of Harlem, had schools in Hillsborough
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County named in their honor.

The Harlem Academy closed in 1964, thus completing its ninety-six year contribution to the education of African-Americans in Tampa. Although the physical structure was later demolished, the heart of Harlem Academy lives on in the teachers, students and staff that graced its classrooms and halls.
 
Erected 2008 by School District of Hillsborough County, Historic Harlem Academy Alumni, Hillsborough County Historical Advisory Council.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation. In addition, it is included in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
 
Location. 27° 57.225′ N, 82° 27.485′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is on East Harrison Street near North Morgan Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tampa FL 33602, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oaklawn and St. Louis Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Kennedy (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S.S. Sagamore (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate States Soldiers and Sailors (about 300 feet away);
Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker, reverse image. Click for more information.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, January 9, 2010
2. Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker, reverse
School website homepage
Click for more information.
Victims of the Yellow Fever (about 300 feet away); 29 Sea Captains and Mariners (about 300 feet away); First United Methodist Church (about 400 feet away); Tampa Native Americans (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
 
Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker and St. Paul A.M.E., as mentioned image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, January 9, 2010
3. Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker and St. Paul A.M.E., as mentioned
Seen along East Harrison Street
Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker and St. Paul A.M.E. Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, January 9, 2010
4. Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker and St. Paul A.M.E. Church
The location now serves as the Church parking lot.
Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, September 12, 2010
5. Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 Marker
Seen along East Harrison Street in downtown Tampa
Tampa's St. Paul A.M.E. Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, September 13, 2010
6. Tampa's St. Paul A.M.E. Church
St. Paul A.M.E. first organized in 1870. The Gothic revival-style building was built in 1914 and served as a focal point for the community during the civil rights movement. Over the decades it has played host to speakers such as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Bill Clinton.
In 2010, the congregation relocated to another site due to declining membership, and the final service in the building was held on August 29. The City of Tampa has assumed the care of the building, which is a designated Local Landmark Structure.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 19, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,868 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 19, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   5. submitted on September 13, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   6. submitted on September 14, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024