The Pain and the Promise: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Tallahassee, Florida
While Florida is rarely considered a traditional southern state, its history of race relations reveals otherwise. This study of the civil rights movement in Florida’s capital during the 1950s and ’60s shows that Tallahassee was a key player in the South in that era, hosting the region’s most successful bus boycott in 1956 and protest activities by the Congress for Racial Equality that were among that organization’s first in the Deep South. Drawing on eyewitness accounts and local newspaper coverage, Glenda Alice Rabby chronicles events from the murder of an NAACP official in 1951 to the final integration of public schools in 1970. She analyzes the shifting goals of the civil rights movement, the complex relations between civil rights organizations, and the activism of Florida A&M students. She also tells how the bus boycott provided national exposure for its spokesman Charles Kenzie Steele and documents for the first time the extraordinary leadership of women, notably Patricia and Priscilla Stephens. The Pain and the Promise describes an important chapter in civil rights history that establishes Florida’s rightful place in that story.
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