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Florida - St. Augustine: Henry L. Twine Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Henry L. Twine in St. Augustine, Florida. His family is from the area, and his mother's family were the Procters. They discuss his ancestor Antonio Procter, who served as an interpreter for Indian tribes in Tallahassee. They discuss the racist reputation of St. Augustine. Twine says much of the trouble was brought out by people coming to the city from surrounding areas. They talk about the lack of African Americans in the service industry and visiting as tourists. Twine does not think that this is due to a lack of opportunities, but a lack of initiative. He mentions several successful black professionals. Some of the community was resistant to the idea of protests and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s involvement. They feared retaliation; the Ku Klux Klan was very active in the area. People came from all over the country to protest in St. Augustine. Twine's wife Katherine was the first black woman sent to jail. He worked for the postal service, and was never arrested himself. Lincolnville in St. Augustine is the older black area of town. They had a black City Councilman as early as the 1800s. A man named Chase also served as city commissioner. Twine served as well, winning in 1983 and reelected two more times. There are currently two black City Commissioners out of the group of five, with Twine serving as vice mayor. There are black migrant workers in the county, but mostly in Hastings. They have trouble getting black community members to attend City Commission meetings or NAACP meetings. They talk about the bad sentiment the community has toward the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC] for leaving after the Civil Rights Bill was passed. Dr. Robert Hayling is one of the people who is bitter. He has left town. They discuss the whereabouts of some activists. Twine thinks there are opportunities available to African Americans in St. Augustine now, but not everyone utilizes them. Reverends T.A. Wright of St. Mary and Lovett of the First Baptist Church were some of the first people supportive of the movement. They talk about Henry Thomas, who organized the sit-ins, and Goldie Eubanks. Twine talks about current public opinion of himself. He compares the black communities of St. Augustine and Jacksonville. He says young people leave town due to a lack of jobs. They talk about Fort Mose, the oldest black community in the United States, which was recently purchased by the state of Florida. [33:35 "u2013 Dent and Twine move to the car to drive to Fort Mose. They continue their conversation.] Twine points out houses his grandfather built and owned. It is an area where white families also lived. He points out the old slave market. They discuss Butler Beach. Twine talks about the crack cocaine problem in Lincolnville. There is only one black police officer in the city. He discusses the history of the Fort Mose area. They get out and read the historical marker at the site of Fort Mose, which is on the north end of St. Johns County. Twine talks about the area.
Civil rights demonstration
Indians of North America
Dent, Thomas C.
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
St. Augustine (Fl.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 149, Item 15, 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.