The mission of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is two-fold:
1) To preserve, present, and interpret African American history and to engage a broad and diverse audience through these activities.
2) To promote an understanding among various groups that comprise the St. Petersburg community to enhance our ability as a society to respect, value diversity, and foster equal rights and social justice.
The history of African Americans in the St. Petersburg community and throughout the African Diaspora will be the central focus of programming at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. The Museum serves to preserve this rich history for present and future generations of St. Petersburg residents and visitors to St. Petersburg.
African Americans have played a crucial role in the growth and development of St. Petersburg since the late 1800s. The first African Americans came to this area seeking work. Many of the early migrants worked on the Orange Belt Railroad and other emerging enterprises. As St. Petersburg grew into a major tourist destination, more employment opportunities opened for these early residents. Settling near the downtown area to be near jobs and the railroad, African Americans established neighborhoods and the community grew, establishing independent institutions. In spite of segregation and discrimination, the area thrived culturally.