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Black History/Civil Rights Era Hits "Home" for MHLP Staff Member
Bay News 9 has been airing a story about the property of Dr. Robert Swain in St Petersburg as part of Black History Month. In 1954, St. Petersburg was a segregated city and African-Americans were not allowed to live south of 15th Ave South. Dr. Swain, a prominent African American dentist owned land 25 feet over that line. He had to hire an attorney and fight the city for the right to build the dental facility and neighboring apartments on the property. Swain's practice thrived and his apartment building became a temporary home to some of the biggest names in sports. Dr. Swain's son, William Swain is the Coordinator of Educational/Training Programs with the MHLP Child Welfare Training Consortium. Though at the time, William and his sister didn't give much thought to the importance these buildings and events would have on the community during the Civil Rights era, they both have come to realize the impact their father had. Bay News 9 article. City of St Petersburg article.