ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Millions are learning the story of Jackie Robinson in movie theaters throughout the country, but in the classrooms of Flagler College, a select group of students are learning about Robinson's impact in St. Augustine.
"He gave his time, he gave his money, he gave his energy to civil rights causes all over the nation, and one of those causes just happened to be civil rights in St. Augustine" said Dr. Michael Butler, Associate Professor of History at Flagler College.
On June 15th, 1964, just four days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for trespassing in St. Augustine, Jackie Robinson spoke at St. Paul's A.M.E. Church in the Lincolnville District.
Butler said, "He praised everyone who was being arrested and had been arrested including Dr. King and four young people who are locally known as the St. Augustine Four. These young people were arrested for sitting in and sent to reform school."
Butler and his students are currently working on an Internet based multimedia archive documenting the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement. One of the items that have been discovered in this project is an audio recording of Jackie Robinson's speech at St. Paul's A.M.E. Church.
Butler said, "It will be a shame if these young people who are struggling so hard who are giving up so much will have to go through the same kinds of things you and I went through as we grew up."
"To our knowledge, those tapes have never been heard by a general audience, so in making items like that available, it makes the website that the Flagler students are putting together far unique.
The project is about 80% complete and it's expected to go live on the web this fall.
First Coast News