II. ACCORD Freedom Trail Site - 76 Washington Street
Headquarters to the St. Augustine NAACP during the Movement - Lincolnville
The St. Augustine office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was located in this building from the 1970's until the early 1990's. The organization's roots in the Ancient City began much earlier. William English Walling (1877-1936), one of the organizers and the first chairman of the NAACP, was a frequent guest at the nearby Alcazar Hotel--now St. Augustine City Hall. A local NAACP Chapter was first organized here in 1915.
Notable NAACP member, James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was born in Jacksonville and became familiar with St. Augustine at an early age. A modern renaissance man he was a poet, novelist, educator, diplomat, attorney, journalist, and songwriter--most notably of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing"--before serving from 1916-1931 as a top official. One thing he did in that position was to arrange a meeting in St. Augustine between civil rights supporters and U.S. President-elect Warren G. Harding in 1921.
In addition, Langston Hughes (1902-1967), the celebrated author whose books included Fight for Freedom: The Story of the NAACP, spoke in St. Augustine in 1954.
In the early 1960's, the NAACP, led by President Fannie Fulwood, protested plans to celebrate St. Augustine's 400th birthday on an all-white basis. The NAACP Youth Group organized many demonstrations to protest segregated lunch counters and other facilities. They were pioneers in the efforts that led to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. The NAACP dates its birth to February 12, 1909, chosen because it was the 100th birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
This marker is dedicated to honor the 100th birthday of the nation's oldest civil rights organization.
(Presented by Beth Levenbach)