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Black History Discovery Trail showcase African American pioneers in Lakeland

Black History Month
Posted at 6:14 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 18:22:23-05

LAKELAND, Fla. — Many of us seldom hear about the African Americans who have paved the way in our own communities. Lakeland is doing just that, with its Black History Discovery Trail.

“The event is a way to inform the community as a whole of the Black history that resides in all of our city departments,” said John Williams, Recreation Supervisor Senior for the City of Lakeland.

This self guided tour has five stops, including the police department, City Hall and Simpson Park Community Center

At each location you’ll learn about African American pioneers within those departments, who helped shape the City of Lakeland. Like Lakeland’s first Black female mayor, doctor and police officers.

“One in particular, Mr. Edgar Pickett was a state renowned forensic officer and later on was recognized by the Lakeland Police Department with the naming of the finger print lab,” explained Williams.

You have until February 26 to complete the trail. Visitors will receive an activity card, and the first 100 people will win a Black History Month swag bag.

Williams who spearheaded this initiative hopes visitors will appreciate Lakeland's diverse history.

“This trail allows young boys and young girls to see that many people have pioneered before them and set the mark to achieve more, achieve greater. Now that the baton is going to be passed to them, they can achieve more,” he said.

Visit the following trail stops February 15th – 26th:

Lakeland Police Department Lobby
219 N Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Open 24 Hours
Combined stop for Police Department & Lakeland Fire Department

Lakeland City Hall Lobby
228 S. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Combined stop for City Hall & Lakeland Electric

Jackson Branch Library Lobby
1700 N Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33805
Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Simpson Park Community Center Lobby
1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33805
Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Coleman-Bush Building Lobby
1104 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33805
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

All completed activity cards can be redeemed at any City of Lakeland Recreation Center or Swimming Pool for a FREE visit!

You can also participate online and discover the stories about Lakeland’s Black History pioneers.