Rodney Hurst is a civil rights activist and historian and author. He was born March 2, 1944 in Jacksonville, Florida, where he witnessed the tumult of the 1960s. He was personally involved in – and in fact was a leader of – the 1960 sit-in demonstrations in Jacksonville, Florida, events that saw a violent culmination on Ax Handle Saturday. Here Rodney recounts the segregated climate in 1950s-60s Jacksonville, and how the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP protested against them, all in the larger context of the civil rights movement. Rodney also shared memories with Crestwood students about his life after those protests, in the military and business worlds; he also shared his candid thoughts on the state of Black history in the present-day United States, where the subject has become politicized in an increasingly polarized political atmosphere. Crestwood students in the Social Justice and Equity class were privileged to zoom with Mr. Hurst in May 2023.
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