Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Florida Studies

Major Professor

Raymond Arsenault, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Gary Mormino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas W. Smith, Ph.D.


civil rights, race, organized demonstrations, protest, riots


Recent decades have seen a shift in the focus of civil rights historiography. Building upon the exhaustive studies of national figures and events, and in search of new perspectives, many historians have concentrated on local movements often ignored or forgotten. Other than the work of a few local scholars, the civil rights movement as it occurred in St. Petersburg, Florida, has received little attention. Furthermore, the limited scholarship lacks the cohesion necessary to compare and contrast the movement with similar events throughout the state and across the nation. The story of St. Petersburg's active and significant struggle for social equality, placed within its proper context, adds another piece to a larger picture and continues to reveal the complex nature of the American Civil Rights Movement.