Movements are radical only in light of the injustices they seek to correct — The youth of St. Augustine didn’t understand why justice had to wait. They took it upon themselves to move fearlessly in the face of violent, lawless segregationists. Teenagers led the lunch counter sit-ins and beach integration, and it being the oldest city in the country, all eyes were soon on the small Florida town in the summer of 1963 . . . . Under the leadership of Dr. R.B. Hayling, the NAACP Youth Council forced white St. Augustine to confront the inequality upon which both its false peace and tourist economy relied. The St. Augustine 4—Joeanne Anderson, Audrey Edwards, Willie Carl Singleton, and Samuel White—refused, after arrest, to sign a legal document prohibiting their participation in further demonstration activity in exchange for their release—subsequently, they spent 6 months in court ordered reform school. After their release, they stayed active in the movement. Is the past ever really past? Whose freedoms may be compromised by our own, today?
“We wanted a change! We didn’t wanna go to the back door all the time!” —Joanne Anderson
“We all thought everybody loved each other + everybody got along until we wanted to go sit at their counter—Lord, they went completely crazy! Lord, they wanted to kill all of us!” —Audrey Hamilton
This CPH poster printed at the worker-owned and union-run Community Printers, Santa Cruz, CA.
This is #166 in the Celebrate People’s History Poster Series.
Mike Taylor makes paintings, prints, books, and music between St. Augustine, FL, and New York City.