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On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I was reminded of the trips we have made to St. Augustine, FL.
When tourists go to St. Augustine, many focus on the local fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, the candy factory, or listen to commentary about the countries that fought for control of Florida. On one of our trips, however, we located a quiet part of town, a neighborhood of discreet older homes with nicely trimmed lawns. These homes are a testament to the resilience of, and commitment to, the City of St. Augustine by the black community:
Founded in 1866 by former slaves, the district remained relatively static until the late 19th century. Segregationist practices that swept the South between 1890 and 1910 spurred the growth of black owned and operated commercial enterprises. Washington Street in the district became the heart of the black business community. In 1877 the “People’s Ticket” that included black Republican D.M. Pappy, a leader in the Lincolnville community, swept city elections. By the early 20th century Lincolnville was a major subdivision of St. Augustine with a high level of political participation among its residents. In 1964 St. Augustine became a focal point for the Civil Rights Movement.