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Florida - St. Augustine: James S. Jackson Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews James S. Jackson in St. Augustine, Florida. He talks about crime and black leadership in America. He talks about his education in St. Augustine. He attended St. Benedict's Elementary School, but there was no Catholic high school. He attended Richard J. Murray High School. He talks about being threatened with arrest in an incident when he was in high school, and his father, who was successful in the shrimping industry. His father required passing grades from Jackson in order to work on the boat in Key West with him. He wanted his son to see what a difficult life it was. Jackson discusses his father's business practices and alcoholism. He discusses the shrimping business. It was common for white boat owners to hire black shrimpers. The railroad was another common business for black workers to be involved in. Jackson talks about that industry, and Henry Flagler's influence on St. Augustine. He was responsible for building the tourism industry. Jackson says Jacksonville, Florida was a better city for black employment than St. Augustine, where options were limited to education, domestic work, the railroad, shrimping, or carriage driver for sightseers. He says there was a lack of African American role models for him when he was young, in particular his black guidance counsellor was very negative. His sister is a nurse practitioner for the state of Georgia. She was the top of her class in high school, but the guidance counsellor suggested that she should not pursue a higher education. Jackson was asked by a friend's aunt, who was also Jackson's godmother, not to come back to their house or be seen with his friend once he started participating in civil rights demonstrations. She was worried for the security of her own teaching job. His friend Charlie never joined the movement. Jackson explains how he became involved in the civil rights movement. He attended his first NAACP meeting when he was eighteen and was one of the first members of the Youth Council.
Civil rights demonstration
St. Augustine (Fl.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 149, Item 12, 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.