One of the most violent campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement took place in St. Augustine, Fla., in 1964. Black and white protesters from all over the country descended on the nation's oldest city to wage a campaign for social justice, civil rights and integration among black and white residents. Sixteen-year-old Mimi Jones and a busload of other protesters made the two-hour ride from their hometown of Albany, Ga., to St. Augustine to support their fellow civil rights activists.
In addition to night marches and sit-ins, a few of the protesters banned together to stage a swim-in at one of the whites-only hotel swimming pools in the area. Jones was one of them. During the swim-in on June 18, the manager of the hotel came out to the pool and poured acid into it, and a police officer jumped into the pool to arrest the protesters. The incident produced two iconic photos that could be described as shots heard around the world. It was one of many events that prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Watch the video above to learn more about the incident and how Jones, who now lives in Roxbury, feels it resonates with today's racial and social justice climate.
To learn more about this particular moment of the Civil Rights Movement, check out Passage at St. Augustine, a documentary film that showcases the leaders, newsmakers, and pivotal moments of the campaign in St. Augustine. The film will be screened Tuesday, August 15 at 4 p.m. at the Historic Strand Theatre in Oak Bluffs. Contact the Martha's Vineyard Film Society for ticket info.