The Complete Orlando, Florida Civil Rights Movement by Fred Altensee, MA
A new volume incorporating a new Introduction by the author with both previous volumes:
THE ORLANDO, FLORIDA, CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT: A CASE STUDY IN COOPERATION AND COMMUNICATION, 1951–1971 and its companion volume, RECOLLECTIONS OF THE ORLANDO, FLORIDA, CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
Perfect bound trade paperback, 224 pages. ISBN: 9781943333141.
Heading into the 1950s, manifestations of racism in Orlando and Orange County posed serious threats to the impending Civil Rights Movement. Confronting racism in segregation, discrimination, and violence toward African-Americans was at the heart of the Orlando Civil Rights Movement. Despite this deeply embedded racism, a spirit of cooperation and communication between black and white community leaders existed. This spirit of facilitated the first vital step forwards: the 1951 integration of the Orlando Police Department. This later proved instrumental in the success of biracial committees, strongly supported by the Orlando city government and police department, and helped bring about relatively peaceful integration in Orlando where city officials supported and fostered the creation of biracial committees. This is somewhat unique, particularly in comparison to other Florida cities. In Jacksonville and St. Augustine, city officials spurned communication, rejected biracial committees and integration, showed less police restraint and thus saw their communities descend into chaotic violence, greatly impeding integration. The Orlando spirit of cooperation and communication, aided by government support spurring successful integration, also contrasts sharply with the actions of the Orange County School Board which, like many other school boards in Florida, sought to circumvent and stall integration.
The Complete Orlando, Florida, Civil Rights Movement incorporates the volume of invaluable oral interviews the author conducted with African American community members. It is the author’s hope that this combined volume will assist both scholar and layperson alike in better understanding this Movement and in developing a firm appreciation for those with the courage to positively change their community, especially the pioneering first African-American police officers with the Orlando Police Department. Their courage and service under immensely difficult conditions proved instrumental in furthering the Movement.