Historic Harlem Academy School 1871-1965


Historic Harlem Academy School
Tampa, Florida



The historic Harlem Academy, known as "The Mother of African- American Schools," was the first public school erected for African- American children in Tampa.


The Harlem Academy School was once the only school for African American students in Tampa (Hillsborough County), Florida.  The building's construction was financed by the Freedman's Bureau, a federal agency established to help freed slaves adjust to new lives.   Erected in the early 1870's, the school was originally named Tampa School No. 2 and was located at Harrison and Morgan streets in what is now known as Downtown Tampa.

Many prominent African Americans were involved with the Harlem School Academy and many of its alumni grew to become prominent citizens in their own right. 

Because official records of the school were destroyed after the school closed in 1965, the Harlem Academy School Committee has begun a campaign to locate any historical information of the school.  It is the mission of this committee to research, document record and share information of this historic school. 

Harlem Academy School Alumni, Teachers & Supporters
This photo was taken at the actual site of the Harlem Academy School in December of 2006.