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St. Augustine, Florida, Celebrates Black History

by Barbara Rogers

Jun 4, 2024

© Sandshack33 | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

St. Augustine and the region known as Florida’s Historic Coast is a perennial favorite for family travel for its beaches and historic sites dating back to the 1500s. This month, the city celebrates a later chapter in America’s history, the role of St. Augustine in the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

 

As today’s children splash and swim on miles of golden beaches, they may not be aware of the role these same beaches played 60 years ago in the fight to end segregation. Several special events and exhibitions highlight this chapter in Civil Rights history.

 

In the Cultural Arts Center at St. Augustine Beach Hotel, an exhibit commemorates Black History on St. Augustine Beach, including the 1964 wade-in protests, when police and white mobs brutally attacked peaceful protesters wading into the water. The images from this attack and other wade-ins focused national attention on segregation and led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act that outlawed segregation in the United States.

 

The Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act with an exhibit focusing on the role of local activists. On June 11, 18 and 25, the museum and cultural center will also conduct free guided Civil Rights tours visiting significant locations in historic St. Augustine.

 

On June 18, St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society will hold a program commemorating the arrest of 16 rabbis who came to St. Augustine in June of 1964 at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On June 19, St. Augustine Music Festival observes Juneteenth with the Marcus Roberts Trio performing a fusion of New Orleans meets Harlem.

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