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Contact: Mark Ard

The Civil Rights Movement in Florida

Photographs, video, and lesson plans from the State Library and Archives of Florida

Tallahassee, Florida –

In anticipation of the 50 year anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in 2014, The Florida Department of State’s Florida Memory Program has launched a new educational exhibit of photographs and films illustrating the history of civil rights in Florida.

"Florida played an integral but underappreciated role in the long, nationwide struggle for racial equality," said Secretary Detzner. "Florida was home to pioneering activists such as Mary McLeod Bethune and James Weldon Johnson, as well as C.K. Steele and Patricia Stevens Due, who carried the torch in the 1950s and 1960s. The struggle for civil rights is a dramatic and compelling aspect of Florida history."

Highlights from The Civil Rights Movement in Florida educational exhibit include film footage of wade-in demonstrations at St. Augustine Beach in June 1964; photographs of the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956-57; and student letters to Governor Reubin Askew on busing and school desegregation.

As students, parents, and teachers grapple with sweeping changes in curriculum outlined by the Common Core standards, they will increasingly need access to primary source materials to ensure student success. All primary source materials in The Civil Rights Movement in Florida lesson plans are presented alongside guides for teachers that provide suggestions for incorporating these resources into the classroom. These guides are accompanied by brief essays on historical context designed to correspond with the Common Core and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

For more information and to view all Educational Units offered by the Florida Memory Program, visit

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About Florida Memory Program
The Florida Memory Program provides free online access to significant photographs, films, sound recordings, and original documents from the collections of the State Library and Archives of Florida. Florida Memory is funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services.

About The Division of Library and Information Services
The Division of Library and Information Services (DLIS) is the designated information resource provider for the Florida Legislature and all state agencies. DLIS also coordinates and helps fund the activities of public libraries, provides a framework for statewide library initiatives, provides archival and records management services, and preserves, collects, and makes available the published and unpublished documentary history of the state.

Sit-in at Woolworth's lunch counter: Tallahassee, Florida (1960)

Confrontation between integrationists and segregationists at a whites-only beach: St. Augustine (1964)