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Florida - St. Augustine: Gerald Eubanks Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Gerald Eubanks in St. Augustine, Florida. They talk about living in a tourist town and black workers in the service industry. He talks about election of black officials in small towns. The black community of St. Augustine needs to have confidence in its black officials and lift itself up. There is a lack of a community-wide black organization to endorse candidates. Eubanks says Dent seems unimpressed with the city. He says the white community will vote for a black candidate if he or she seems safe. Black officials have to "go the extra mile" and educate the community. Dent talks about his recent interview with Henry Twine. Eubanks stresses the responsibility politicians have for all the people, but particularly the district they represent. They talk about black politicians who have been indicted for criminal activity, particularly in South Carolina. Dent says many black politicians have to economic base and go into politics to make money. He thinks there should be salary increases for governmental officials. Eubanks does not think that would stop the problem. The temptation is great, but black officials allow themselves to become gullible. They discuss the shortcomings of the school system, and his experience as a school principal. The black population is dropping as people move away, which affects school integration numbers. He talks about the predominantly black school in Hastings. There is discussion there of annexing a black neighborhood outside the city, which will affect politics. They discuss population numbers. Dent talks about stopping by a black-owned auto business in the area that has a white sales force. Eubanks knows the owner and gives his impression. Dent talks about businesses in New Orleans that hire black employees but retain a white clientele. Eubanks talks about being involved in the mainstream while retaining your identity. Dent talks about white interest in black culture in New Orleans, where they have become the "interpreters of black culture." The roots of the culture have come from Africa, but it has changed. Eubanks says it is important to push this information. They are joined by Caroline Proctor and Mignone [sic] Polland. They talk about black people in the community not going out. They talk about the drug problem, and crack versus cocaine. One of the women works with mothers who have drug problems. White people with drug problems go to a private doctor and are often not reported as a statistic. The poor black population goes to the clinic and can be screened for drugs without their knowledge. Dent talks about what he has learned from his other interviews, particularly in South Carolina. People assumed he was looking for drugs or would be robbed in some places. The problem is new. Black people are selling crack and white people are buying it. She does not see the usage as sustainable. Dent sees some sort of legalization as the only end. They return to the subject of the school system. Dent says they are lost following desegregation. They discuss alternative schools.
Civil rights demonstration
St. Augustine (Fl.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 149, Item 8, 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.