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Beyond IntegrationThe Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County, Florida, 1960-1980$
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J. Michael Butler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627472

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627472.001.0001

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Patterns of Protest in Escambia County

Patterns of Protest in Escambia County

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter One Patterns of Protest in Escambia County
Source:
Beyond Integration
Author(s):

J. Michael Butler

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627472.003.0002

The economic, demographic, political, and employment conditions that existed in Northwest Florida from Reconstruction through the 1950s provided the foundation for a unique local civil rights movement. Consequently, two separate post-World War II campaigns against white supremacy permanently altered area race relations, which contradicts the popular “Florida Exceptionalism” model of civil rights studies. A group of black parents, most of them middle and upper class professionals that Dr. Charles Augustus organized, filed the monumental Augustus v. Escambia County School Board desegregation suit in response to the Florida Pupil Assignment Law and turned to the national NAACP for assistance. Reverend W. C. Dobbins, a local minister, initiated a second and more direct confrontation with discriminatory practices and formed the Pensacola Council of Ministers. The group mobilized the Pensacola NAACP Youth Council and held a number of downtown lunch counter sit-ins and store boycotts to wage their protests. The school and economic battles operated independently of each other, but their successful outcomes transformed the city in a number of ways.

Keywords:   “Florida Exceptionalism”, Dr. Charles Augustus, Augustus v. Escambia County School Board, Florida Pupil Assignment Law, Reverend W. C. Dobbins, Pensacola Council of Ministers, Pensacola NAACP, Pensacola NAACP Youth Council

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