During the Civil Rights Movement, St. Augustine gained national attention as neighborhood churches, businesses and parks became sites of meetings to plan peaceful marches in protest of racial segregation. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference supported these efforts, and many well-known activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young attended meetings and participated in the protests. Through historic preservation efforts by the city of St. Augustine, you can still visit many of these locations today.
Take a self-guided tour along the Accord Freedom Trail that includes over 31 historic civil rights markers and is accompanied by interpretive information via a cell phone audio tour.
Visitors can also take a guided St. Augustine Black Heritage Tour and stop at over 10 locations to see and hear about the fight for equality and human rights.
Spend time exploring the Plaza de la Constitucion where numerous night marches organized by civil rights foot soldiers culminated. Today, the Foot Soldiers Monument sits in the southeast corner of the plaza and features four life-size bronze busts, anonymous representations of the many who fought for racial equality. Nearby, in the plaza’s southwest corner, is Andrew Young Crossing, which honors Young’s bravery in leading a group of demonstrators to the plaza only to be beaten by a mob of segregationists. Bronze replicas of his footprints are embedded in the coquina walkway along with the words “Justice, Non-Violence, Equality and Freedom.”
For more information on Black History in the Lincolnville Historic District, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOWUsjVISYA.