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Florida - St. Augustine: Moses Floyd Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Moses Floyd in St. Augustine, Florida. Floyd is the County Commissioner of District 2 in St. Augustine, and is the first minority commissioner in the county. He was raised in Armstrong, Florida and also lived in Hastings, Florida. He thinks it is sad that it took the county so long to get a black commissioner. His black role models were teachers, ministers, and preachers. His football coach was one of his role models, and Otis Mason was a visible example of a black man in a position of power. He attended Fayetteville State University teachers' college on a football scholarship and became a coach. He did not see visible black leaders growing up in his sheltered home. He was not aware of the civil rights movement in his youth. He talks about education in his family, where all four children went to college. His father was killed in a car accident when Floyd was 6. He gives his impressions of school superintendent Otis Mason, with home Floyd has a conflict. However, he considers himself objective and thinks he has a cultured mind. Dent talks about the conversation he had with Gerald Eubanks about problems with his job during his interview. Floyd talks about his reputation for being outspoken, which he thinks led to his election. Dent tells him about his conversation with Eubanks about Andrew Young, and how he made an impact politically by "not playing the game." Floyd talks about campaigning after being accused of misusing funds. He talks about his fifteen year experience as a football coach and how he was influenced by his high school coach, Andy Hinton. He worked at Cayman High School in New Jersey for three years, and then coached at Cookman Institute for two years. He met the Miami Superintendent of Schools and was offered a job at a high school there, Homestead, where he became Dean of Students. He came to St. Augustine on a spring break and was offered a job as Head Football Coach at predominantly white Allen D. Nease High School in northern St. Johns County. The principal knew him from when he did his internship at Hastings High School. Out of 1100 students, there were only 33 black students and 5 black teachers, most of whom were coaches Floyd had hired. He was Head Coach for four years and had three championship football teams. In his fifth year, Floyd began to have personality conflicts with the white athletic director. He gained notoriety and respect in the town thanks to his success as a coach at Nease. He instituted a week-long football camp. He knew he was a "guinea pig" and worked hard. He wore a suit and tie every day. Floyd "did not have the principal's ear." He was living in St. Augustine, and interacting with the students within the community. Floyd approached the principal attending a football clinic in Orlando with his assistant, and was given permission to go using the funds the program had raised. The assistant was looking for a head coaching job. He agreed to provide the transportation because Floyd did not have a car. The athletic director and the principal approached the assistant coach to see if he would be interested in the head coach position. They brought in another head coach as his assistant. The assistant coach said he could not go to Orlando because he was sick, after they had already been given the money. They did not go, and were pressured to make a report on the check. Floyd did not feel it was urgent, based on previous culture at the school. He did not tell them that he did not go. He was dismissed from the football program, though they told him he could stay as a teacher.
Civil rights demonstration
St. Augustine (Fl.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 149, Item 10, 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.