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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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Cultural Imagery, School Integration, and the Lost Cause

Cultural Imagery, School Integration, and the Lost Cause

(p.78) Chapter Three Cultural Imagery, School Integration, and the Lost Cause
Beyond Integration

J. Michael Butler

University of North Carolina Press

As the 1970s began, the Escambia County SCLC and Pensacola NAACP worked together against what blacks considered the most blatant reminder of white supremacy that survived the previous decade’s civil rights struggle—the use of Confederate imagery at Escambia High School. Blacks believed that whites who attended EHS used its “Rebels” nickname, the Confederate Battle Flag, a “Johnny Reb” mascot, and the “Dixie” fight song, all symbols of the Southern Lost Cause mythology, to intimidate its African American minority and reinforce their status as unwanted outsiders on campus. Interracial fighting at the school and a subsequent SCLC school boycott led to a showdown over the use of Confederate symbols in county schools and divided the community even more. The Pensacola News Journal, state legislators Wyon Dale “W. D.” Childers and R. W. “Smokey” Peaden, representatives from the Florida NAACP, and Governor Reubin Askew all became involved in the debate concerning the school’s controversial iconography.

Keywords:   Escambia County SCLC, Pensacola NAACP, Confederate Imagery, Escambia High School, Confederate Battle Flag, “Dixie”, Pensacola News Journal, R. W. “Smokey” Peaden, Florida NAACP, Reubin Askew

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