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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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Opposition Familiar and Unanticipated

Opposition Familiar and Unanticipated

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter Six Opposition Familiar and Unanticipated
Source:
Beyond Integration
Author(s):

J. Michael Butler

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627472.003.0007

As the felony trials of B. J. Brooks and H. K. Matthews approached, the Escambia County freedom struggle encountered obstacles from organizations both familiar and unanticipated. Sheriff Royal Untreiner refused to discipline deputies for their actions, and the United Klans of America (UKA) organized several events in Pensacola to rejuvenate the Florida Ku Klux Klan. SCLC and NAACP actions, though, proved the most surprising and tragic. Discord within the NAACP distanced the local, state, and national offices from each other and suggests that tensions existed between the NAACP and SCLC. Each conflict eventually undermined and divided local leaders at the expense of group members. The self-interests of the NAACP and SCLC national offices, along with their mutual distrust and jealousy of each other, proved as damaging to the Pensacola civil rights movement as the white resistance activists encountered. The Escambia County SCLC and Pensacola NAACP could do little, then, when the unrestrained white backlash to the long civil rights movement in Northwest Florida cost both of its primary leaders their livelihood and one his freedom.

Keywords:   Escambia County freedom struggle, B. J. Brooks, H. K. Matthews, Escambia County SCLC, Pensacola NAACP, Pensacola civil rights movement, United Klans of America (UKA), Florida Ku Klux Klan

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