Monument Honoring Courageous 12 Set to Grace New St. Pete Development

Excitement fills the air in St. Petersburg as the ambitious project known as The Central takes its first steps towards fruition. With plans already underway for a 4-star Autograph Collection Hotel and expansive office, retail, and parking spaces spanning two acres, the development promises to be a transformative addition to the cityscape.

A significant highlight of this endeavor is the forthcoming monument dedicated to the Courageous 12, a group of trailblazing individuals whose valorous actions reshaped history. Leon Jackson, the sole surviving member of the Courageous 12, expressed his disbelief and gratitude at the realization of this long-awaited tribute. “It’s a dream come true,” remarked Jackson, reflecting on the monumental impact of their collective efforts.

Recalling the tumultuous era of the 1960s, Jackson reminisced on the arduous journey undertaken by the Courageous 12. These black St. Pete policemen, restricted from arresting white individuals and relegated to patrolling solely black neighborhoods, dared to challenge the entrenched racism within the police department. Their landmark lawsuit against the department ultimately secured equal rights for black officers, marking a pivotal moment in the fight against systemic injustice.

The monument, slated to adorn the site of the former police department, symbolizes a testament to courage, resilience, and the triumph of justice over adversity. Designed by Tampa interdisciplinary artist Ya La’ford, the monument promises to be a stirring tribute to the indomitable spirit of these courageous men. La’ford’s renderings of the monument, unveiled recently, offer a glimpse into a creation infused with immersive beauty and profound symbolism.

“This one is just special,” remarked La’ford, emphasizing the monument’s profound resonance with the soul of the community. With its impending installation expected within the next year or two, the monument stands as a poignant reminder of the enduring legacy of the Courageous 12 and their enduring impact on St. Petersburg’s history.

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As the city eagerly anticipates the completion of The Central and the unveiling of the monument, the spirit of unity and progress embodied by the Courageous 12 continues to inspire future generations.

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