NewsBlack History Month


Blanche Armwood educated Black children, advocated for economic well-being and social justice

Armwood High School in Seffner named for Blanche
Blanche Armwood Tampa Bay History Center.png
Posted at 5:12 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 17:55:56-05

TAMPA, Fla. — ABC Action News is celebrating Black History Month in February by bringing to light some lesser-known Black Americans who made a major difference in lives of people living in the Tampa Bay area.

“Blanche Armwood was born around 1890 in Hillsborough County. Her family owned a lot of property out in the Seffner area and today we have Armwood High School in Seffner named for Blanche," explained Fred Hearns, a Historian at the Tampa Bay History Center.

"Blanche was an outstanding young woman. She graduated from high school, get this, at the age of 12. She completed all her high school requirements. At the age of 16, she graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta. She came back to Tampa and began teaching, but, you know, she was a woman of many, many talents." said Hearns.

"One hundred years ago in 1922, she was named the first supervisor of Negro education in Hillsborough County, presiding over all the Black schools in the county at that time. That same year, she was named the executive secretary of the Tampa Urban League, the year the Urban League was founded."

"Blanche Armwood would later go on to earn a law degree at Howard University. She had planned to practice law in her hometown of Tampa," noted Hearns. "Blanche Armwood, an outstanding citizen of Tampa and Hillsborough County.”

Armwood died of an illness in Massachusetts in 1939 and is buried in Ybor City.