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Andrew Young donates recordings to Flagler to begin civil rights archive

Mar 4, 2011
by Staff

Civil rights activist Andrew Young donated interviews from his documentary “Crossing in St. Augustine” to Flagler College in what will begin a new archive chronicling the historic civil rights movement in the Nation’s Oldest City.

Flagler Assistant Professor of History Michael Butler, who studies the civil rights era and Southern history, called Young’s gift a momentous occasion for the college.

“It’s going to be bigger than just the donation of the materials to the college,” he said. “This will be the basis for a digital civil rights archive for anyone to view the recordings to make the film.”

“Crossing in St. Augustine” documented the civil rights struggles in St. Augustine in the 1960s, and the film focuses on an event in 1964 when Young was brutally attacked while leading a peaceful march. National attention on the worsening situation in St. Augustine helped galvanize support for the
Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In addition to being a key strategist and negotiator for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Young is also a former United Nations ambassador, former mayor of Atlanta and has won Emmy Awards for his many documentaries.

He decided to donate the more than 20 hours of interviews to the college after a standing-room-only showing of the documentary at Flagler in 2010. It was one of Butler’s students, Jillian McClure, 21, who helped build the relationship between Young and Flagler. McClure contacted Young for a paper in her Civil Rights Movement class.

“It is amazing how little things can lead to big things,” said Flagler President William T. Abare Jr. “This is one of the historical moments at Flagler College.”

Young said his film and the new college archive will continue to be a “healing point for the community.” The recordings will be part of the college’s Proctor Library collection, and plans are being made to make the recordings available online.

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