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Flagler unveils Civil Rights Library of St. Augustine

Apr 11, 2014
by Staff

In time for the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Flagler has launched the Civil Rights Library of St. Augustine.

The Internet-based multimedia archive documents the city’s pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. Unveiled in September, it was completed by Flagler students, faculty and staff over several semesters.

“The students have identified a variety of archival material that certainly I didn’t know existed, and that when organized the right way adds layers of understanding to this whole series of events,” said documentarian CB Hackworth, who oversaw the project. “I don’t know if anyone has done this sort of approach.”

For Micajah Henley, who graduated in April of 2013, the chance to work on the project was a transformative moment in his college career.

“This site is going to do something that history books and even documentaries cannot do. It is going to tell the story using a scope that has been either neglected or forgotten altogether,” said Henley, who is now studying for his master’s degree at the University of Mississippi. The archive was unveiled at an event that included prominent local and national figures including UN Ambassador and civil rights activist Andrew Young.

At the event, Young spoke about the beginnings of the non-violence movement, as well as his own connection with St. Augustine.

“More and more, the events around this movement have not only shaped my life and your life,” he told the audience, “but the world in which we live.”

Some of the highlights of the database include the FBI files detailing Martin Luther King Jr.’s time in St. Augustine, as well as the surveillance the city was under both before and after King arrived. Other items include details on the arrest of local activists, audio of Jackie Robinson’s visit to St. Augustine, as well as the archives of Young himself.

Flagler President William T. Abare Jr. said the online archive will be one of the milestones of his presidency.

“I couldn’t have been more proud of what our students have accomplished with this project,” he said. “The students have exceeded my expectations.”

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