St Petersburg, FL

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The Other St Petersburg Neighborhoods

(South Side)

The breakdown of the other side of the St Petersburg neighborhoods, South St Petersburg.

Population: Over 250,000

Black Population: 24%

Rank in State: Florida’s 5th largest city

Poverty Rate: 16%

Average Income: $30,000

Background Story of South St Petersburg

Some of the first original black communities of the city was in the area of Midtown St Petersburg, which was Methodist Town, the Gas Plant area, 22nd Street aka the Deuces, and Pepper Town.

Many black families came from places in Georgia, Alabama, and small towns in North Florida, beginning in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Many were recruited to work to help build the city’s infrastructures, like railroads and streets, while others worked as servants or in the service industry.

Most lived in areas, other than Methodist Town, that were located south of what is now Central Avenue in the South St Petersburg, which was the designated section for the black residents during the days of Jim Crow laws and the Klu Klux Klan terrorizing their neighborhoods.

Successful areas were communities like Sugar Hill along 5th Avenue and 22nd Street, while other communities were considered to be either a slum or a working class neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, urban renewal of the 1960s would destroy and help the decline of many of  turning once thriving communities into neighborhoods labeled as the St Petersburg ghetto.

Construction projects like the baseball stadium, apartment complexes and Interstate 275, would completely wiped out neighborhoods like the Gas Plant Area, Peppertown, parts of 22nd Street and most of Methodist Town, leaving only the Jamestown apartments.

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‘Hoods and Communities of South St Petersburg

Even though the city is one of the largest in Florida, the black community is based in and centered around the South Side or Midtown St Petersburg.

During the 1980s,  the drug epidemic contributed to neighborhoods like Jordan Park and Bethel Heights to become two of the roughest areas in Tampa Bay, with police known as the “Green Team” constantly raiding and arresting people of the St Petersburg ghetto.

By the 1990s and 2000s, communities like Childs Park and other South Side areas became just as active, like Harbordale or the Bartlett Park area as many communities would later became rivals of each other.

The Shady Side area of Childs Park.
A convenient store in South St Petersburg.
A block in the heart of the St Petersburg ghetto.
The Bethel Heights community of the South Side.
One of the biggest St Petersburg neighborhoods of the South Side, Childs Park.
st petersburg ghetto south st petersburg
St Petersburg neighborhoods of Jordan Park.
midtown st petersburg st petersburg neighborhoods
What was left of the old Midtown St Petersburg neighborhood of Methodist Town, Jamestown housing complex.

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Check out more of St. Petersburg, FL:

Map of St Pete and Tampa Bay Hoods: http://www.therealstreetz.com/2015/04/16/map-tampa-bay-area/

Watch History Of Tha Streetz: Tampa Bay – http://www.therealstreetz.com/2015/05/07/history-tha-streetz-tampa-bay/

Resources

Peck, Rosalie and Wilson, Jon. “St. Petersburg’s Historic African-American Neighborhoods”. History Press. 2008

Rooks, Sandra. “St. Petersburg Florida (Black America Series)” Arcadia Publishing. 2003

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