Civil Rights: The View from St. Augustine

Educators from across the state have participated in workshops exploring the history of the Civil Rights movement in Florida. Below are some of the books, organizations, and videos which influenced the development of previous seminars. The Florida Humanities Council is working to curate articles and multimedia presentations which will further assist in bringing this topic back into the classroom.

I. Videos

Ax Handle Saturday

Ax Handle Saturday is a documentary made about the events of August 27, 1960. On that day, as African Americans were attempting to integrate lunch counters in Jacksonville, footsoldiers were beaten by an angry white mob brandishing ax handles. The video has a few graphic moments.


Crossing in St. Augustine

Crossing in St. Augustine recounts Andrew Young’s visit to America’s Oldest City in the 1960s and the efforts being made to commemorate the Civil Rights Movement in St. Augustine. The following is an excerpt from the documentary, which is not available commercially.


II. Organizations

40th Accord is a non-profit dedicated to commemorating the Civil Rights movement in St. Augustine and the city’s role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A museum has been created from Dr. Robert Hayling’s old dentistry office, located at 79 Bridge Street in St. Augustine. In addition to the museum, 40th Accord Is establishing a Freedom Trail throughout the city to point out locations and events of great importance to the Movement. For more, check out their website at

III. Bibliography

King, Gilbert. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, The Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. King’s book recounts the story of the Groveland Boys, four African American men accused of raping a white woman in Lake County, Florida. King’s research also covers much of the career of Thurgood Marshall, a prominent lawyer in the NAACP’s legal team and later an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Devil in the Grove also considers the economic and social implications of Jim Crow policies.

Warren, Dan. If It Takes All Summer: Martin Luther King, the KKK, and States’ Rights in St. Augustine, 1964.

IV. Archives

The Civil Rights Library of St. Augustine is a digital repository of videos, interviews, documents, and maps related to the Civil Rights Movement in St. Augustine.

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