St. Augustine's Pivotal Role in the Civil Rights Movement

Derek Hankerson

Course Description

Do you know what led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act? The answer is St. Augustine's 400th anniversary! In the spring of 1964, as St. Augustine, Florida, prepared to celebrate its 400th anniversary, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) launched a massive campaign supporting the small local movement to end racial discrimination in the nation's oldest city. King hoped that the demonstrations would lead to local desegregation and media attention that would garner national support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was then stalled in a congressional filibuster. These demonstrations were met with violence and counter-demonstrations that escalated for months. In the end, King observed that St. Augustine had been made to "bear the cross," suffering violence and brutality that helped prompt Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Join Derek Hankerson as he explores St. Augustine during this volatile time in American history. This program includes a short film, "Journey: 450 Years of Africa American Experience," which Mr. Hankerson co-produced, highlighting African Americans' 450 years of contributions to Florida. 

About the Instructor

  • Derek Boyd Hankerson is a faulty member, world traveler, and documentary film maker who has produced 4 films on accurate American history. These films have aired nationally and on PBS. Mr. Hankerson is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a B. A. In government and politics and Webster University with a M. A., in Management and Leadership. He has been actively engaged in government and politics for 38 years. At the age of eighteen, he started his career with the Reagan-Bush 1984 Presidential Campaign in Washington, DC and worked with “Africans- Americans for Reagan-Bush” Mr. Hankerson’s great, great grandfather Rev., J. P. Hankerson, was a free man before the Civil War. He was President of the Florida General Baptist Convention for two terms 1894-1899 and 1903-1909. During that time the Florida General Baptist Convention worked with the freedmen’s bureau to educate the newly freed slaves and poor whites. Rev., J. P. Hankerson and others were instrumental in establishing the Florida Bible Institute, which later became Florida Memorial University located in Miami, Florida. Rev., J. H. Hankerson graduated from the Florida Bible Institute with a degree in Theology. Rev., J. H. Hankerson was one of the first Black Postmasters in the state of Florida and was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson from February 9, 1915- June 10, 1918 as the first Black Postmaster of St. Johns County. St. John’s and Escambia county were the first counties established in Florida on July 2, 1821.

Upcoming programs presented by Derek Hankerson.

TypeNumberInstructorCourse TitleAdd to Cart
One-Time W425 Derek Hankerson St. Augustine's Pivotal Role in the Civil Rights Movement
Tuesday, April 25: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm