The Civil Rights Movement in Florida
The idea that Florida did not experience the tumult of other Deep South states during the Civil Rights movement is a popular misconception. This presentation debunks the myth of “Florida exceptionalism” in relationship to the Black freedom struggle and demonstrates that the state experienced many of the features that characterized more well-known areas and demonstrates how this history remains relevant in modern America- for better and worse.
Dr. J. Michael Butler is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at Flagler College where he has taught since 2008. He has published numerous essays and his book Beyond Integration: The Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County, Florida, 1960-1980 won a 2017 Florida Book Award in nonfiction. Dr. Butler specializes in southern cultural history with an emphasis on the Black freedom struggle and has spoken to dozens of teachers and community groups about the civil rights movement.