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Florida - St. Augustine: Fred D. Richardson, Jr. Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Reverend Fred D. Richardson, Jr. in St. Augustine, Florida. He talks about guns and the Ku Klux Klan presence in St. Augustine. He worked to keep the peace between the Klan and the black community in his role as a pastor and president of the NAACP. He met with the Grand Dragon to discuss the situation. Dent talks about a conflict regarding the Klan and the confederate flag in Lee Circle in New Orleans. He talks about the protests of the 1960s in the area. The sheriff at the time, Davis, released white prisoners from jail and deputized them. Richardson discusses how St. Augustine has always been largely integrated, but black and whites have known their boundaries. Part of the black population has left and become successful elsewhere, but will never bring their skills and talents back to the city. Florida Memorial University leaving St. Augustine was the death knell for black-owned businesses in the city. They discuss the reasons the university left for Miami. They talk about changes "u2013 or lack of changes "u2013 in the city following the demonstrations of the 1960s. Richardson blames apathy and fear of repercussions. Dent says he heard a similar answer from Henry Twine. Richardson speaks to the lack of African Americans in the service industry in St. Augustine. He says the black community has opted not to pursue those jobs, rather than employers being discriminatory. He talks about the training available at the St. Augustine Technical Center. Richardson does not think migrant workers affect job availability in the city; they end up in other areas of the state, like Hastings. He talks about the redevelopment of Butler Beach, which used to be predominantly black but no longer is. They discuss property development. He talks about Superintendent of Schools Otis Mason, one of the few black superintendents in the state. They talk about the black population percentages and politics. Richardson talks about community attitudes in Jacksonville. Dent discusses the recent political sting in South Carolina, during which black state legislators were arrested. Richardson talks about the divisiveness of Jacksonville. There is a need for a unifying force or black organization. Richardson has taken on the unofficial position of "community pastor," serving both black and white communities.
Civil rights demonstration
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
St. Augustine (Fl.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 149, Item 14, Side 1, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.