Plant City Black Historic Trail, Plant City, Florida

35TH Annual Plant City

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Festival

"Visit Plant City,Florida- Discover its Heritage!"

January 15 - 23, 2021



(click here for a pdf printable list)


Attorney Theodore Taylor- He was the first African American from Plant City to obtain his law degree and the first African American to acquire space in downtown Plant City and restore a historic building. Find his office near the Railroad Museum.

Mr. Earl Sykes- Served as principal of Marshall High School and was the first African American to integrate at Plant City High School.   Currently lives across from Marshall Middle School and can often be found heading out to fish on weekends.  When asked who was his most challenging student; he just smiles.

Ms. Leola McDonald- She is the oldest living descendant of a Confederate Soldier and Slave romance (Turned 100 years old in February 2018).  She is also the oldest living teacher that has taught in Plant City.  She lives in Bealsville, near Springhead.

Willie Thomas - First African American Reporter to be employed by a Plant City Newspaper (Courier).  He lives in Riverview but can be caught on Facebook under (Plant City Past and Present) and is often hanging around in Plant City. You can reach him at his cell at (813) 293-1778 or (813) 677-5210. Tell 'em. Hey, need to get a selfie with ya!

Attorney Ken Glover-  Borned and raised right here on Laura Street, Mr. Glover was the first African American to serve in the Prosecution Office for Polk County.

Mr. Fleming-  We all know him as Mr. Fleming. Currently at the age of 80 plus, Mr. Fleming is a graduate of Marshall Negro High School and one of the first documented Plant City natives to play pro football with the NFL Dallas Cowboys in the early 1970s.

Mr. Crowell.-  Was part of the coaching staff that achieved the first official recorded championship for Plant City area schools. Mr. Crowell was part of the Marshall High School 1964 Football Championship where the team recorded the fewest points allowed, most points scored and most shut-outs in a high school football season.

Bennie Paul Coffee-  Part of PCHS first integrated football squad and championship, FAMU Football Championship and Defensive Player of the Year NFL Detroit Lions.  He can be found via social media.

Mr. Ben Forte- A retired Nursery owner whom as a business owner is Plant City Bealsville's first millionaire. His Forte Nursery generated nearly 1.5 million dollars in sales while it operated serving clients throughout West Central Florida.

Sam Miller of Miller Productions-  Sam is the most successful DJ to come out of Plant City.  This humble man has provided technical support for nearly every venue in Plant City and surrounding area to include cruise ships.  He plays a number of instruments.  You can catch him driving the iconic red & white monster truck.

At Large (PCHS 1982 BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS)- Plant City High School 1982 Class brought home Plant City High's first State Championship. Can you catch a player and get a selfie?


CURRRENT WHO’S WHO in 2017-2020


Law Offices of Williams & Moore - Catch either one of these attorneys practicing law out of their office across from the Hospital.  They were mentored by Attorney Theodore Taylor.

Dr. Bernard Robinson- African American Brain Surgeon whom spends half his time in Hawaii and Plant City. A native of Plant City and inventor of current MRI technology that is utilized in current cancer treatments today. Book author of "Two Ropes"

James McDaniel- Former NASA employee, served as highest ranking African American employed with City of Plant City, leading developer of city's revitalization plans for 1980 thru 2010 including the Bing House Museum restoration. Book author of "Living a Virtuous Life".

Pastor Pee Wee Callins- A dynamic and well known pastor of Greater New Hope Church.  One of the youngest spiritual leaders ever, has done gospel tours with the likes of Shirley Caesar, held services at the Strawberry Festival  and serves as chaplain for Plant City High School sporting teams.  You can catch him on the sidelines at PCHS basketball games.

Harvey Harrell of H&R Sounds-  Has been a rising star as a Sound Technician and DJ for the Greater Plant City area. Harvey is a mentoree of Sam Miller and has been passed the baton handling large, small and charitable entertainment ventures.

Ms. Ginger Forte- (Deceased) Educator and had her jersey retired from Plant City High School as the leading female scorer whose records are yet to be broken.

Horace Broadnax-  Recently had his jersey retired from Plant City High School. He is part of the 1982 State Basketball Championship. Played college basketball at Georgetown University and NBA career.  Currently Head Coach for Savannah State but can be caught on facebook.

Russell Evans-  Recently had his jersey retired from Plant City High School as the ALL TIME leading scorer in both basketball and football in Hillsborough County.  His records have “yet” to be broken.  He lives in Plant City and is often at Plant City High School Gym working with players.

Derrick Gainer-FAMU Football Running Back and 2 Time Super Bowl Dallas Cowboys.

Kenny Kelly-University of Miami, Major League Baseball and drafted by Devil Rays.  Get a selfie posing with a baseball or baseball bat.

Ms. Chevelle Hallback- Female Pro Boxing Champ.  You can find her on social media.  Get a selfie with her with your fist pumped or pose with her boxing gloves.  “I am the greatest!!!”

At Large (PCHS 1982 BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS)- Plant City High School 1982 Class brought home Plant City High's first State Championship. Can you catch a player and get a selfie? Hint (one is currently coach at PCHS). .

*Please note that all of these individuals have given permission and approved to be captured by selfie!.

Learn about Plant City's Diverse and Cultural History. Post your selfies #PlantCityMLK -Instagram or friend us on facebook @ BingMuseum. First three to complete list and post wins a prize.

Check us out at the MLK Street Festival Saturday Jan 19th


Bing House Museum built in 1921

Marshall Middle School Gym (outside), built in 1948

Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center built 2020

Marie B. Ellis Park named after a famous photographer.  Once served as baseball field

Snowden Park

Sam Cooper Park/Lake named after a longtime NAACP leader

Plant City Photo Archives & History Center in downtown has over 100,000 pictures

Glover School in Bealsville was founded in 1868

Bealsville Recreation Center (historic marker) notes the founding of this community

Holloman Midwife House – now this one is off road and a bit difficult to find (Horton Road)

Ruby Lee’s Fruit and Art Stand –directly on State Road 60.  Her paintings are in the Smithsonian

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church founded in 1884-  See the historic bell

Owner Pocket Change Beauty Supply – near Feltons Meat & Produce


Bethel MBC
Allen Chapel
Mt. Olive, Ball Street
Mt. Moriah
St. Mary’s Church
St. Luke’s Church
St. Luke Independent Church
Laura Street Church of Christ
St. Mark Church, former Coronet Quarters Church


SPONSORED BY Plant City Photo Archives & History Center, 106 South Evers Street, Plant City

Heritage, Culture, Education, Legacy

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"Let Freedom Ring!"

Theme for Plant City MLK 2021 - #PCMLK

The Legacy

The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Now it's time for the Plant City and the surrounding communities to come together as one. The Improvement League of Plant City will be hosting the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Arts Festival on January 15 - 23, 2021 at the Plant City MLK Recreational Complex, 1601 East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Plant City, FL 33563. 

This cultural event held in Plant City during the month of January features a variety of family oriented activities. Timed to coincide with the national holiday commemorating the life of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Festival provides an all-inclusive setting in which citizens of every ethnic background can experience and celebrate the contributions of African Americans to the culture of Hillsborough County & West Central Florida.

Opening Ceremony, Freedom Parade, High/Middle School Drumline Showdown, Sunday Leadership & Community Awards Breakfast, College Scholarship Awards, Gospel Fest, Plant City African American Driving Tour including the Bing Rooming House Museum and a one day street venue with ethnic cuisine, and concerts for children and adults highlight the Festival. 

There will be two community service days with an "MLK Day of Service" and "Carefest" where residents work on community service projects in neighborhoods.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED?.....Click on the Schedule Tab for Parade, Vendor and Drumline applications.


About ILPC

Special Business of the Year 2013

Founded in 1982

Foster equitable opportunities for residents, regardless of age, sex, race or religion throughout the City of Plant City.

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Plant City Photo Archives

Bealsville, Incorporated

Tampa Black Heritage Festival

Hillsborough Community College

City of Plant City

Hillsborough School District

Proceeds Benefit

Proceeds for the Plant City MLK Festival benefit the following-

Plant City Bing Rooming House African American Museum

Forensic Science & Language Arts

Community development, and senior citizen outreach.

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