Hi. My name is Faye Tippy. I moved to St. Pete two years ago. I am a former vice president of marketing for Time Warner Chicago and former adjunct professor at Indiana University in Gary.
I’m happy here mostly. You can’t beat the weather (except in summer), the water or the activities. The location and the economy are working for me!
I live downtown so it took a minute for racism to reach me directly. And it happened at the airport one night when I was coming back from Chicago. I am always on the lookout; unfortunately, as blacks in America regardless of education, income or culture, that is our reality. And I had to realize I was in the South.
What galled me most about the encounter at the airport is that the woman, who was drunk, didn’t even realize the countless ways she was insulting me. I think she thought that I should be grateful that she was talking to me; that I should be thankful that I was educated. We shouldn’t demand anymore. Slavery was over.
I went to the scene of Markeis McGlockton’s murder in Clearwater, and it chilled me to the bone. That could have been my son or nephew.
I am happy to see that some conversations on race are being held in St. Pete. White privilege is real, racism ain’t dead–implicit and explicit–and opportunities for black advancement are still blocked. And yes, affirmative action is still needed.
I was blessed with a strong, educated family for generations. Not everyone was, I know.
Demographics are changing in St. Pete. More of Midwest and east coast folks are moving here along with younger professionals. We are used to equitable diversity.
At this moment in time, St. Pete has the opportunity to be a model city.
Check out my new column called “On the Scene with Faye.”
“A rising tide lifts all boats.” — John F. Kennedy