We, as African Americans, encapsulate all that we can into the month of February in honor of Black History Month so that our children will know who they are and who they can become. What was a remembrance of our past has now become an honoring of our present. I believe this because we now include present day hero's in our Black History celebrations. For instance, George Edgecomb, Tampa's first Black judge, who passed in 1976 from Leukemia, has his name enshrined on the federal court building in downtown Tampa. While he is a past hero, his wife, Dorothea Edgecomb is a present day hero in her own right.
This past February Ms. Edgecomb assisted in the collaboration of the new George Edgecomb Society and the Moffitt Cancer Center with a new initiative targeting African Americans with cancer. Director B Lee Green celebrated her efforts by presenting her with a beautiful blue box in recognition of her work. They further emphasized that they are seeking our assistance in donations and asking you to become a member of the Society.
When Judge Edgecomb was diagnosed with cancer, he had very few treatment options locally which became one of the prevailing reasons that his friend, H. Lee Moffitt established the world renown Moffitt Cancer Center. Ten years later, the Tampa Bay area had a local presence for cancer care, and the best care nationally.
By establishing the George Edgecomb Society at Moffitt, his legacy will live on, but more importantly, it will help to ensure ‘equitable health outcomes and focus on the elimination of cancer disparities among people of color.’
While George was a trailblazer in law, his wife Dorethea Edgecomb has continued to blaze trails of her own, as an educator and school board member. Even though she is no longer a member of the school board, Tamara Schamburger, a young African American female, has taken her place on the board to help forge the future of education in Tampa.
Dorethea Edgecomb's has not only done an excellent job in raising their only child as a widowed single parent, her past and present exemplary lifestyle continues to shape the lives of many while positively perpetuating the Edgecomb Legacy.
A graduate of Middleton High School and Talladega College, as well as the University of South Florida, Ms. Edgecomb many years in education and politics has kept her finger on the pulse of the community where she was born and raised.
Her many associations and memberships include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, NAACP, the Athena Society and East Tampa Revitalization Committee.
The YMCA recently awarded Ms. Edgecomb The Community Impact Award for her work and she is also scheduled to receive an award by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida as one of four Women of Distinction, 2017.