G.D. Rogers' legacy is reflected in the golf course named after him in Tampa, Rogers Park Golf Course. During Tampa's segregated past, Rogers Park was the only place where blacks could go and not be harassed. Rogers owned the land. He also helped create Tampa's Central Industrial (Life) Company, an agency that sold policies to blacks. And he opened Rogers Hotel and Rogers Dining Room on Central Avenue, the heart of the black community back in the day.
Paulina Pedroso's life began and ended in Cuba, but she is considered one of Tampa's most influential black women. She was also one of the most prominent female leaders of Cuba's 1895 revolution against Spain. Jose Marti headquarters his activities in her boarding house in Tampa. Back in 1993, Pedroso was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame.
Peter Oliphant Knight is best known these days for the airport on Davis Island named in his honor. Knight moved to Tampa in 1889 when the city was a tiny burg. He assisted in the creation of TECO and was a founding partner for the national law firm of Holland & Knight.
Kate Jackson's name lives on in Hyde Park, where a park and community center is named after her. She was instrumental in starting and leading the nation's second Girl Scouts of America troop, as well as advocating and contributing to the purchase and preservation of the initial acreage for what became the Everglades National Park.
Cody Fowler set himself apart by defending African Americans in Tampa courts and fighting for just but, at the time, unpopular causes. In 1950 he became president of the American Bar Association. He also chaired the Tampa Bi-Racial Committee in the late 1950s and 1960s and received the National Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews for distinguished service in the field of human relations. He's also the grandfather of former Tampa area Democratic Congressman Jim Davis.
And last but by no means least is C. Blythe Andrews, the longtime publisher of the Florida Sentinel-Bulletin, where he had considerable influence for more than 30 years.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn touted the Riverwalk in his remarks to the audience, where he gave praise to his predecessors who began the long campaign to create and fund the area. The mayor said the final piece to the puzzle will be completed by summer of 2014.