Rosalie Peck was the youngest of 10 children. Raised in St. Petersburg, she attended local all-black schools - Jordan Elementary and Gibbs High School. After being turned away from a local business school because of her race she traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend Cortez Peters Business College. Fifteen years after graduating from Gibbs High School, Rosalie was chosen by the Ambassador Club, along with Frankie Howard to promote integration by attending the all-white St. Petersburg Junior College (today’s St. Petersburg College) in 1961. Years later, Peck recalled both the anxiety and fear she felt, but knew after her first day of classes that she was, as she said, “in my element.” Her confidence eventually led her to Bethune-Cookman College and then to Atlanta University for her master’s degree followed by a successful social work career.
She also co-authored with my dear friend Jon Wilson two books: “St. Petersburg’s Historic 22nd Street South” and “St. Petersburg’s Historic African American Neighborhoods.”
St. Petersburg’s Historic African American Neighborhoods
Published by The History Press
In this companion volume to St. Petersburg's Historic 22nd Street South, Rosalie Peck and Jon Wilson share stories of people who built these thriving communities, and offer a rich narrative of hardships overcome, leaders who emerged and the perseverance of pioneers who kept the faith that a better day would arrive.