At its grand reveal, renovated Perry Harvey Sr. Park touted as 'a living, breathing history lesson'

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TAMPA — Not 30 minutes before he arrived at the grand debut of the renovated Perry Harvey Sr. Park on Sunday afternoon, Tampa native Tony Crawford listened to his 67-year-old mother reminisce about the lively black community that once thrived there.

She told him about the way things were on Central Avenue, before the shooting and the riots and the Interstate 4 invasion 50 years ago. She spoke of the barber shops, hair salons and pool halls that lined the neighborhood, about the dancing and the music.

“My parents grew up on Central,” the junior Crawford said. “I was born in Tampa Park.”

Crawford felt, he said, that Perry Harvey Sr. Park contained his history.

That was the goal of its grand reopening Sunday, a chance to bring the Tampa community together with food and music for a historical celebration decades in the making.

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Source: Tampa Bay Times »