I’m A Star Foundation teens host, produce Black History Month special
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Teenagers in the I’m A Star Foundation interviewed a multigenerational group of changemakers for their Black History Month special broadcast, “Young, Gifted & Black, Celebrating Kids Making History.”The special was streamed live from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. “I believe this Black history program will let anyone who is willing to listen know that they can change history with time, patience and determination,” said I’m A Star Foundation student host Myia McLaughlin, 17, a senior at First Coast High School. Among those interviewed included Dr. Laurence Morse, a Jacksonville native and alumnus of then-segregated Matthew Gilbert High School and chairman of Howard University Board of Trustees, and civil rights activist, historian and author Rodney Hurst. AdFaith Sampson, 16, Jordan Sanders, 11, and Tiffany Powell, 13, conducted interviews. Additional I’m A Star Foundation student hosts and producers included Valencia Gibson, 15, Javar Collier, 14, and John Robinson, 13.
Black community’s distrust of law enforcement goes back centuries
They were the epitome of racist law enforcement officials.”Today calls for justice and police reform stems from police killings and excessive force used in Black communities. AdHurst said saying “black lives matter” does not mean it’s instead of anyone, but that it means black lives matter, also. “But the response to that invariably is, ‘blue lives matter.’ Blue lives have always mattered,” he said. “If you really look at these policies they’re not antagonistic towards law enforcement officers. JSO and other law enforcement agencies do have outreach programs and transparency resources for the community.
Sights and sounds of Ax Handle Saturday etched in witness’s mind
This photograph provided by Alton Yates shows a mob of men, some wielding ax handles and other implements against peaceful protesters, on Ax Handle Saturday. “Not a single member of one group came into contact with a single member of the opposite group,” he said. But national publication LIFE magazine had already published proof of the violence that happened on the day that came to be known as Ax Handle Saturday: a photo of Charlie Griffin in a bloodied shirt with a gash above his eye. In 1960, the mayor told one story of Ax Handle Saturday. February is Black History Month, and News4Jax is celebrating Black culture by highlighting stories in the community.
Civil rights activist points out errors in proclamation commemorating Ax Handle Saturday
The biggest honor was a proclamation from the United States Department of the Interior that commemorates the day Ax Handle Saturday happened. But according to local civil rights activist Rodney Hurst, the 1960 NAACP Youth Council president who was 16 years old when he and others were attacked on Ax Handle Saturday, the proclamation has multiple errors. The second line in the proclamation states Ax Handle Saturday resulted in the eventual integration of public accommodations citywide.But Hurst said thats false. And the proclamation states the civil rights movement in Jacksonville began with Ax Handle Saturday. Hurst said facts are needed for a moment in history that has shaped the local and national civil rights movement for generations to come.
Jacksonville NAACP reflects on 60th anniversary of Ax Handle Saturday
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville NAACP’s Youth Council commemorated a somber anniversary Thursday -- 60 years since Ax Handle Saturday. “My mom said she couldn’t even go into that building and now her son has an office in that building and it’s thanks to you Mr. Hurst,” Jacksonville City Councilman Sam Newby said. Rodney Hurst was the 16-year-old president of the NAACP Youth Council on that fateful day. Full Screen 1 / 37 Jacksonville NAACP reflects on 60th anniversary of Ax Handle SaturdayBishop Rudolph McKissick Sr., pastor emeritus of Bethel Church, was among the local leaders who took part in the ceremony, which took place virtually and with social distancing protocols. All week, News4Jax has been highlighting stories from Hurst and others who vividly remember Ax Handle Saturday and we spoke with experts, who put into perspective how that day shaped the history of the River City.
In 1960, the mayor told one story of Ax Handle Saturday. A photo told the truth.
Rodney Hurst, the group’s president, said the council’s adviser, Rutledge Pearson, told them white men wearing Confederate uniforms and carrying ax handles were spotted downtown. RELATED: Teens carried ‘healthy fear’ into Ax Handle Saturday | Survivor relives Ax Handle Saturday violenceWhen they arrived, Hurst said, they found a mob of white men swinging at any Black person they saw. Griffin would later tell Hurst that a white man had rushed him and took a swing at him with an ax handle, Hurst said in his blog. Griffin told Hurst he tried to defend himself but he was quickly outnumbered. SPECIAL SECTION: Reflecting on Ax Handle Saturday, 60 years laterEven though local media coverage was lacking, the violent outburst got national attention.
Teens carried healthy fear into Ax Handle Saturday
The Pittsburgh Courier, an out-of-state African American-run newspaper, was one of the only news organizations that covered Ax Handle Saturday. I am sitting in the front row and the judge said, Alright young man, for the record, point out Rodney Hurst, Hurst recalled. After Ax Handle Saturady, the fight for equality continued. Though local media did not cover the events of Ax Handle Saturday, the event received courage from out-of-town news organizations like The Pittsburgh Courier. Hurst continues to educate locally and throughout the country about the Civil Rights movement, specifically Ax Handle Saturday.
60 years later, Ax Handle Saturday now a mural on Eastside
More than 200 white men equipped with ax handles and baseball bats went after the group sitting at a lunch counter. No one tried to stop the men, Hurst said. A mural of the attack can be seen wrapping around the Eastside Brotherhood building at 915 A Philip Randolph Blvd. Dr. Rudy Jamison, along with teachers, artists, students and other community leaders, worked together to get the mural on the Eastside building. You may see several things, but its built around community, Jamison said.