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Blanche Armwood
Posted November 15, 2018 | 11:35 AM

Faces behind the Places: Armwood High School

Educator and activist Blanche Armwood was an advocate for women and African-Americans

Hillsborough County is full of inspiring, iconic, and interesting places, and there are remarkable people behind them. In this occasional series we explore namesakes of some of the county's well-known buildings, schools, parks, and roads.

Who was Blanche Armwood?

Armwood, 1890-1939, championed opportunities for minorities and women. Born in Tampa at the beginning of the Jim Crow era, she graduated from St. Peter Claver Catholic School and Atlanta's Spelman Seminary. She taught school, set up a home economics academy for African-American women, helped found Tampa's Urban League, and supervised Hillsborough County's segregated "Negro" schools, beginning in 1922. In 1937, she received a law degree from Howard University.

Why name a high school for her?

Throughout her remarkable life, Armwood advocated education as a pathway to success, particularly for African-Americans and women. She passed the Florida State Uniform Teachers Exam in 1902, at age 12. It was the beginning of a long career in education and related fields that culminated with the Hillsborough County School Board naming a high school in her memory.

About Armwood High School

Armwood High School is on U.S. Highway 92 in Seffner, near where the Armwood family homesteaded in the 1870s. Opened in August 1984, the school has about 2,200 students. Its Collegiate Academy allows students also to earn AA degrees from Hillsborough Community College. Armwood is known for its athletics, including an acclaimed football program. The school's mascot is a hawk.

Photo provided by University of South Florida Special Collections.

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