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Dr. Hayling's Speech at the Capitol

The Florida Conference of Black State Legislators' sponsored a Black History Program, 6 PM, February 16th, at the House Chamber, 4th Floor of the Capitol Building in Tallahassee, FL.   Dr. Robert B. Hayling, leader of the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement  was the Keynote Speaker.  Many civil rights freedom fighters from the St. Augustine Movement traveled with the 40th ACCORD, Inc.  to Tallahassee for this grand event such as Maude B. Jackson, The Freddy Thompson Family, Barbara B. Allen, Janie Price, Audrey Willis, James Jackson, Joann Martin Hughes, Barbara James, Purcell Conway, Joeann Anderson-Ulmer, Barbara Vickers, and Shed Dawson to share their courageous stories with the public.  The 40th ACCORD, Inc. displayed memorabilia, pictures, placards, brochures, and maps to enlighten those in attendance about the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement in the Rotunda of the Capitol. 

A special thank you to Sheriff David Shoar for allowing us to display the FINGERPRINTED ARREST CARD w/ Signature  of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and sending Sgt. West, Deputy Staggers, and Kelvin Kelshaw (photographer) to participate in this prestigious event.

A very special thank you also to Mr. Del Berg of Palm Coast, FL who allowed us to take an important artifact: the actual first pen used by President Lyndon Baines Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

One may view photos of the event by our very own photographer, Mrs. Shirley Williams-Galvin at:  Spotted

Please see the online reports at: St. Augustine Record and

The Florida Conference of Black State Legislators (FCBSL) is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. whose goals are to champion legislation and community issues that affect the less fortunate constituents they serve.   The FCBSL addresses  issues and submits changes to the Legislature, Cabinet Officials, State Department Officers and Private Corporations throughout Florida. To accomplish their  goals they host substantive, social and sporting events. Proceeds from these events go towards the general operations of the FCBSL and Scholarship Fund

In 1968 Joe Lang Kershaw became the first black to serve in the legislature since 1889 (George A. Lewis & John R. Scott, Jr., 1889). Elected officials to follow were Gwendolyn Sawer-Cherry-1970, Mary Singleton-1972, Arnett Girardeau-1976, John Thomas-1978, Carrie P. Meek-1979 and John “Gus” Plummer-1980. Due to the small number of black legislators, a formal Caucus was not incorporated.  However, in 1982 due to reapportionment nine African Americans were elected to serve in the Florida House of Representatives (Corrine Brown-Jacksonville, James Burke-Miami, Bill Clark-Ft. Lauderdale, James Hargrett, Jr.-Tampa, Doug Jamerson-St. Petersburg, Willie Logan, Jr.-Opa Locka, Alfred Lawson, Jr.-Tallahassee, Jefferson Reaves, Sr.-Miami, and Alzo Reddick-Orlando). This significant increase gave a new total of 12 members and afforded an historical opportunity to construct a Caucus among African American legislators.


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