Historic Markers Across Florida



570 Christopher Street



Marker ID: AFT 
Location: 570 Christopher Street, St. Augustine, FL
County: St. Johns
Coordinates: N 29° 53.268    W 081° 20.046
  29.8878    -81.3341
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMGAVC
 



Text:

This was the home of Rev. Roscoe Halyard and his wife Flora, both active participants in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Rev. Halyard, who was associated with Zion Baptist Church and worked as a carpenter, made trips to both Tallahassee and Washington to talk with government officials about the racial situation in St. Augustine.

He was one of the group that convinced the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to come to St. Augustine in the Spring of 1964, and made the trip to Jacksonville to pick up Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the airport.

The Halyards also provided lodging for people who came from around the country to support the civil rights efforts here. One of them was the famous author Sarah Patton Boyle (1906-1994) who wrote 'The Desegregated Heart' (1962) and other books. A Virginian, and a cousin of General George S. Patton, Boyle was praised by Dr. King in his celebrated "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" for having "written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms."

Boyle was arrested, for the first time in her life, when attempting, as part of a racially integrated group, to be served at the segregated Monson Motel restaurant on the bayfront. She spent several days in the St. Johns County Jail, and later published an article called "Song of a Jailbird." She wrote: "I regard my arrest as an honorary degree in the struggle to implement the principles in which I so deeply believe."

Mrs. Burgess hoped to return to St. Augustine for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the civil rights movement in 2004, but she passed away just a couple of weeks before the event, at the age of 93.

Sponsored by: Northrop Grumman



Notes:

This marker is part of the ACCORD Freedom Trail.

For more information:
ACCORD - Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc
NAACP - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
SCLC - Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Wikipedia - NAACP
Wikipedia - SCLC
Wikipedia - Civil Rights Act of 1964
Wikipedia - Racism
Wikipedia - Racial segregation in the United States