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Published: March 18, 2021

UT Honors Outstanding Tampa Bay Journalist: Paul Guzzo of the Tampa Bay Times

The University of Tampa's journalism program in the Department of Communication will present its inaugural award for outstanding achievement by a local journalism professional to Paul Guzzo of the Tampa Bay Times. The ceremony will be conducted via Zoom on Tuesday, March 30, at 6 p.m.

Paul Guzzo
Paul Guzzo’s ongoing 18-month investigation has revealed historic African-American cemeteries in Tampa Bay that were buried, built over and, until recently, forgotten. Photo courtesy of Guzzo

Guzzo will accept his award, make remarks and take questions about his work. Fred Hearns, the curator of Black history at the Tampa Bay History Center, will speak first on Guzzo’s recent work revealing forgotten African-American cemeteries, the meaning of these cemeteries and recent revelations.

In an ongoing 18-month investigation Guzzo has revealed historic African-American cemeteries in Tampa Bay that were buried, built over and, until recently, forgotten. Dating from the era of segregation, these burial grounds have been found at a Tampa public housing project, at King High School, MacDill Air Force Base and in Clearwater. Four hundred coffins have been detected underneath the Robles Park complex on Florida Avenue, for example, and the bodies resting there were never moved.

This truth-telling has brought up painful racial and social history, and has already had important impact. Since Guzzo's stories, the city of Tampa is moving the Robles Park complex and creating a memorial for those buried there. The Florida Senate has moved to create a task force to preserve these sites state-wide. The Times' series has received national attention, including by Smithsonian Magazine.

To RSVP and receive a private Zoom link, email John Capouya, associate professor of journalism, at jcapouya@ut.edu.


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