Who is the tour guide?
Your guide, Josette Green, has studied the local Black history for almost 20 years. She has learned from the most prominent history experts in St. Pete, from expansive research into source documents, and from investigating the Black history in other Florida communities. From 2019 to 2020 she was a docent at a civil rights exhibit at a local St. Pete museum.
How did the tour come about?
While Josette was a docent, she saw firsthand the impact of teaching this important history. People were stunned and had their eyes opened. The most common comment was “I had no idea.” When the museum was closed due to the pandemic, and she saw there were no other active events teaching local Black history, she knew she had to do something. The St. Petersburg Black History Bike Tour was born in her mind in the spring 2021 and actual tours began in Sept 2021.
How is the tour funded?
This tour is a labor of love and is fully funded by Josette. So when you see the website, flyers, business cards, safety vests, etc., please remember these are self-funded. The tour is not, nor will be, a business or nonprofit.
Why does Josette do this?
Josette believes learning local Black history brings understanding to the current state of Black residents today and advances racial equity through this understanding. Racial equity is a very deep value of hers. She does this tour in honor of her deeply loved brown nieces and nephews so that they are treated nothing less than all of who they are. She does this to advance understanding and harmony in her transitioning community, Campbell Park. She does this because this is what she knows she can do to advance racial equity, and to do nothing when she possesses this knowledge would be a loss to all.
Where do we meet?
The tour begins and ends in the parking lot of the Wellness Center, 2198 15th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33712. It's on the corner of 22nd St. S. There is plenty of parking.
What time should I arrive?
The tour will start at 9:00 a.m. Please arrive early enough to to get your bike and self in position for our prompt start time. Most arrive by 8:45 a.m.
What is the schedule?
We begin at 9:00 a.m., travel a 5-mile loop, and return to the Wellness Center at approximately 11:45 a.m/12:00 PM. Upon return and when available Mr. B. or another local resident will talk with the group about their lived experience. The event ends by 1:00 PM and participants are encouraged to stay in the neighborhood and have lunch at one of many excellent restaurants.
I'm not a regular bike rider. Can I still join the tour?
Yes! There is a vehicle option for everyone. If you own a bike and bike regularly, then bring your manual bike. Experience shows that this tour is too strenuous to use a manual bike for those that don’t regularly bike each week. In that case, please use an e-bike. These are recommended rental companies that deliver on-site and provide helmets:
E-bike: Bay E Bikes, 727-209-7230
Manual bike: St. Pete Biking Tours, 727-200-4051
What should I bring?
You'll need your form of transport, a helmet (a must!), and the signed Release of Liability (provided via email after you make your reservation). Also bring water and sun protection. Please no earbuds, headphones, music or alcohol while on the bike tour portion of the event.
How much does it cost?
Josette gives this tour as a volunteer to the community and does not want money to get in the way of people receiving this knowledge. For those able, a donation of $20-40 person is suggested.
What about bathroom access?
There is a bathroom at the starting point and then at the end.
Can I bring my kids?
This tour is geared for adults; however, teens age 13 and older are welcome with a parent present and participating.
Do you book tours beyond the stated public tours?
Yes, corporate tours and private personal tours can be arranged for a fee. Companies such as Raymond James and the Rays have booked the tour as an DE&I activity for their employees. Individuals have booked tours for celebrations or just to have a common shared experience with friends. Contact Josette at BlackHistoryBT@gmail.com to inquire and discuss.
How big are the tours?
The tour maximum is 20 people, and the goal is to maximize each tour.
I'd like to bring a small group of friends. How do we book it?
Reach out to Josette for guidance on which public dates can best accommodate your group. Each person will need to be registered separately for the chosen date. It is possible with the demand of the public tours that a private tour for a fee may have to be booked.
What communication will I receive once I register?
Upon registration, a confirmation email is sent with all of the tour details. About 1 to 2 weeks before the tour, an email is sent asking participants to reconfirm they are coming as typically there is a wait list. The day before the tour an email is sent to convey any last-minute information, especially regarding weather.
What if rain is forecast?
Josette watches the forecast closely, especially if there is rain in the forecast. To accommodate the weather, the tour may either be delayed up to an hour, or the start time may be moved up 15 minutes or so. Rarely is the tour canceled. Often a decision cannot be made until the morning of the tour, in which case, Josette will email you between 6:30-8:00 a.m. with any changes or to affirm the tour starts on time. If it is necessary to cancel the tour, Josette will be in touch to rebook for another available tour date.