From Hillsborough county officials:
Hillsborough County is proud to host its 21st Annual Black Heritage Celebration at noon on Friday, Feb. 8, in Joe Chillura Courthouse Square, located across from the County Center at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa.
This year’s program theme is Black History in Writing and will pay tribute to the many African-American writers who have made great contributions to the literary world, including Zora Neale Hurston, Florida folklorist and author of four novels and more than 50 short stories, plays and essays. Local writer James Tokley, Poet Laureate of the City of Tampa, will read a poem written especially for the occasion.
County Administrator Mike Merrill will present the 2013 Legacy Award to Joyce Russell, who retired in 2011 as the County’s African-American Liaison after a 30-year career in public service.
In 1992, Ms. Russell received the County's Excellence in Government Award after she successfully lobbied to change a state law limiting the number of seniors who could qualify for an employment program; and in 2008, she was awarded the Robert W. Saunders Award for her work educating the African-American community on new voting procedures.
Entertainment will be provided by the Tampa Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
The annual Black Heritage Celebration is hosted by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Black Heritage Celebration Committee. This year’s sponsors include 10 News, Bright House Networks, Florida Sentinel Bulletin, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Oriental Fish Company, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company, and Sol Davis Printing. 10 News anchor Reginald Roundtree will emcee the celebration.
In case of inclement weather, the celebration will be moved across the street to the County Center, 2nd Floor, with lunch served in the 26th Floor Conference Room.