Celebrating the Black mind

Delores Givens unveiled her Celebration of the Black Mind Mural last Saturday at Lake Vista Recreation Center. Givens is pictured here with Councilwoman Deborah Figgs-Sanders.


ST. PETERSBURG — Did you know a Black man invented the roller coaster? No? Well, did you know a Black man invented the personal computer? Again, no? Don’t feel too bad; not many people are aware of the contributions African Americans have made to the world, something Delores Givens aims to remedy.

Designed and created by Givens, she unveiled The Celebration of the Black Mind Mural last Saturday at Lake Vista Recreation Center in front of a small crowd. The mural simply lists inventions patented by African Americans, from laser cataract surgery to the electric lamp.

“Since we can’t teach Black history in schools anymore, I decided to put murals of Black history everywhere, so everywhere you look, you will see Black history,” Givens said. “I think it’s so important because most of these inventions — all of them — are staples in our society; very important things that we’ve done.”

At first, the city passed on the idea of a Black Mind mural in the recreation centers, but that didn’t deter Givens. She went out and secured letters from Senator Darryl Rouson, St. Petersburg City Councilman Bro. John Muhammad, the Art Alliance, the Pinellas Point Neighborhood Association and more, and the powers that be in the city relented.

Givens spent hours researching Black inventors who held patents. She purposely listed the invention instead of the inventor so that people would do some research on their own.

Born and raised in New York, Givens moved to St. Petersburg in the early 1990s. She worked in the film industry for 15 years but changed her profession once she landed in St. Pete. Although she was not trained professionally to be an educator, she found herself drawn to the field.

Givens eventually opened Butterfly Village Kids College, a licensed daycare, in her home and began molding young minds. As her charges excelled, she became more and more in demand. She particularly likes to work with children with medium cognitive disabilities.

“I didn’t even realize that I was a teacher until the parents kept telling me, ‘Oh, my children are on the honor roll,’ or ‘My children are on the principal’s list.’ So, I stuck with it.”

The Celebration of the Black Mind Mural is a way for Givens to educate the masses — both young and old.

The next murals in Pinellas County will be placed at Academy Preparatory School and Childs Park Recreation Center. She then plans to take the show on the road to other counties. Her goal is to avoid repeating inventions on the original three, which all contain 65 to 75 inventions on each mural.

One Reply to “Celebrating the Black mind”

  1. S. Rose Smith-Hayes says:

    The mural at Lake Vista is beautiful. Please go see it!!!!!!

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