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Youth and young adults were present and active in the civil rights movement. The St. Augustine Four, Audrey Nell Edwards, JoeAnn Anderson Ulmer, Willie Carl Singleton, and Samuel White are among the trailblazers who made their mark on the civil rights movement. 

The St. Augustine Four were arrested in July 1963 for attempting to integrate a whites-only lunch counter at a local Woolworths.  Following their arrest, local law enforcement tried to force them to promise they would no longer participate in further demonstrations.  The St. Augustine Four refused.  The group was also pressed to say the organizer of the movement in St. Augustine, Dr. Robert Hayling was to blame for contributing to the delinquency of minors. The St. Augustine Four again refused.

Backed by their families and the community, The St. Augustine Four stood firm, refusing to concede. In response, they were jailed by the sheriff and then sent to reform school.  The NAACP attempted to gain their release.  The judge informed them that the issue was now beyond local jurisdiction. It took special action from the governor of Florida to get them released in January of 1964 (nearly six months later). 

Continue reading “St. Augustine Four:  Unsung Heroes Of The Civil Rights Movement”