Douglas Jamerson, Jr. grew up in the Gas Plant neighborhood of St. Petersburg. He worked at his grandmother’s restaurant during his childhood and teenage years, serving the people he would later advocate for and represent.
Jamerson attended Immaculate Conception Catholic School and wanted to attend Gibbs High school; however, his grandmother encouraged him to attend Bishop Barry, now known as St Petersburg Catholic School.
He was one of the first three African-American students to attend the Catholic school when the Pinellas County public schools were still completely segregated.
After graduation, Jamerson enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a security policeman. At the end of his service, he became the first African-American campus police officer for Pinellas County Schools.
He attended and graduated from the Pinellas County Police Academy and St. Petersburg College with an associate of arts degree. He continued his education by earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida.
In 1982, Jamerson was the first African American elected to the state legislature from Pinellas County. The governor later appointed him to fill the position of Commissioner of Education.
Later, Jamerson was appointed Secretary of the State Department of Labor and Employment, where he served for four years.
Jamerson was a proactive and strong advocate for education and the needs of the underprivileged. He passed away in 2001 at the age of 53. Jamerson Elementary School and the Midtown campus of St. Petersburg College are named in his honor.
We honor a life well lived — a St. Pete legend.
This article was part of the 28 days of Black history heard on WUJM – 99.1 FM.
One Reply to “Douglas Jamerson: Educator and politician”
I am a cousin of brother Jameson In 2003 I was A security officer appointment at the chamber As a Doorman . At a special section held at the state tcapital building . My cousin Doug was the state representative for pinellas county . It is indeed an honor to have worked beside as well as to see my cousin in action.Gug was a loving family man who loved his hold family and was not to big to have fun old school 👊🏾. He treated everyone with nothing but kindness and compassion. He is truly missed 😥RIP Dug your cousin Warren C. Jamerson Sr.