Title: Dr. Royal W. Puryear [CRSTA 12]
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Title: Dr. Royal W. Puryear CRSTA 12
Series Title: Dr. Royal W. Puryear CRSTA 12
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CRSTA 12A Page 1
SUB: Dr. Royal W, Puryear
INT: David Colburn
Oct. 1, 1980
:JF


This is David Colburn, I am interviewing Dr. Royal W. Puryear August 1, 1980
in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

C: Dr. Puryear, why don't we start S with your background. Tell me something

about where you, about where you were raised and family and your education.
P: I was born here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I am the eldest of seven

children, four boys and three girls. All of us completed the public schools

here. We are all college graduates. I attended Howard University in Wash-

ington, D.C., I completed my masters at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

xJDid special studies in college administration at the University of Michigan.

I did my preliminary studies at _lo_ J Theological Seminary, Columbia
University.

C: What uh, what did your father do, what was his occupation?

P: My father was a building contractor _,_-) decorating.

C: And your mother, did she work?

P: My mother was a storekeeper, in a grocery store.

C: What was it like growing up in Winston-Salem as a youth?

P: Winston-Salem has always been a very good town to rear a family because it was

a two industry city. AtANOLS Tobacco Company and Hanes knitting mill.

My family on my mother's side worked for the Hanes family and my family on the
other side worked for the Reynolds family. My great-grandfather was one of the

first foreman in the-Audrey Reynolds Tobacco Company. Even though my fathers

brother, his father worked the Attdrey Reynold's Tobacco Company, not any of the

children ever worked in either of the industries, though we all worked at the

homes and families of the two major families in the city. And I would suspect

that this had some influence on our education, our interest and concern for the

welfare of community_






CRSTA 12An


C: What was the Winston-Salem like racially as a child?
P: Typical of the age in which I grew up. It was segregated. But you had a
concern on the part of the Hanes family and the Reynolds family which led to

an interest in the black community that just does not exist except in a few
countries and America. So that in the area in which I lived, very fine homes,

very good schools, very good teachers, and the location of a state school here;
:and my sisters attended school,.very important. I grew up in a family where
.the education of the boys was more important than anything else. My Dad and
.mother made special sacrifices to see to it that their children received the
best. My three brothers attended Hamptonf I attended Howard, Washington, D.C.
C: Did your father put you through school?
P: Oh yes, my father. And some friends that wanted to help^out but as a building
contractor we had no problems, and all of us worked in school. In those days
there wasn't any such thing as scholarships; if there were we didn't know any-
thing about them. At Hampton Institute you were assigned a job, and you went
to school. At Howard I worked a goodly portion of my way. I drove the college
president and rang the university bell. That was significant in my growing up/
because I attended the church in Washington, D.C. of a former pastor of the
First Baptist Church here in Winston-Salem, Dr. >.0. liJo- () who's
family was highly educated with medical doctors and lawyers, and I was in that
home quite often, drove the Sunday schoolAchurch bus.
C: Is that what influenced you into the seminary?
P: My interest in the seminary grew out of a background of having worked with the
Young Men's Christian Association. I returned to Winston-Salem even though
I was offered jobs at-in Atlanta, New Yorkand Washington D.C. The fact that
I was the oldest son, there was a necessity for my returning home and being of
help with my mother and father in educating the others. I grew up under the
influence of what I did in college affected the other six. So there wasn't
a question of how well I did, it was a question of how well I did better than


Page 2





CRSTA 12A


P: all the rest that I attended school with.
C: Um hum.

P: This was always in the back of my mind at the time, competing with the other

S students in school. I was the youngest student in the entering college school

and graduated at 20. I started teaching here'w (LJsf-- SoI'e-_

North Carolina.
C: So you came back and you started teaching school?

P: I taught the third grade in elementary school for one semester. Then I went

to Atkins High School and stayed at Atkins High School from 19,.January, 1934

to April, 9, 1942. I entered the executive secretariship of the Young Men's .

Christian Association in Vicksburg, Mississippi, remained there 18 months

and was promoted to regional, the regional office of the YMCA in Dallas, Texas.

This covered a five state area, Louisiana, Oklahoma,Texas, Arkahsas. In that

connection ist was my responsibility to organize the YMCA, conduct campaigns,

Deal with pefsene problems. I did part time service with the USO during the

S war period. Received special training for that. Served on the special task

force for the armed services visiting army camps to inspect USO's, Hattiesburg,

Mississippi, the state of Louisiana and in other areas. Barring the five year
period in the area office, I was moved to the World Youth Fund, and it was my

responsibility along with that of Mr. Lg-ir, (-/ to close out an auction, the

materials, furniture, articles and any other articles or materials, at all the

USA's all over the world. -In this opportunity the privilege came to visit all

the continents in the world. This was an eye-opening experience. At the same
CcogetL'/ WotErr"o Zrb lriA, t(.
time I was at the YMCA I have always been etose-t-t-he-AssocJ.atin _Church WJoRk

I worked with St, John's Baptist Church in Dallas Texas-became interested in the

ministry during that period church on the road
S_ .* I served St. Johns c2wnivA,
Y
When I left the ',re, I flew with the
influence of the Chairman of the regional YMCA. He recommended me to Co(le


Page 3





CRSTA 12A


() iDA LLAS
P: 80> is~oc.r at Butler College in Taes- Texas. I remained there for
a period ending November of 1948. I went to to -r Norma Industrial
College in St. Augustine, Florida in 1950, June. I remained there until August
of 1958. Then with my build and relocate
a college 812 miles, the new 20 million-dollar plant in Miami, Dade County.
C: Why did you leave Butler?
P: A new opportunity, larger opportunity.
C: Florida Normal was a larger school, was it?
P: Yes, plus the fact that I thought I, was : _ '_ _' intended coming
back towards home, .
C: I see.

P: From Texas.
C: Right, yea. I want to define that going to Florida was more away from home
actually in terms of being part of your mainstream of urban activity, because
the line of activity runs from Washington to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Texas.
And the Florida area wasat that timeoff to the side.
C: What b~\, what did you do in the early years .~while you were at Florida
Normal?
P: When I first went to Florida Memorial College in 1950 it was experiencing a
period of change. It had the largest bo !,, Cu coellr c leve-(
V Or PT!9t)g6 ?- 10- A'ItJ 1"6
program and occassionally-traded of any college in the United States. Some
17 different offerings; sheet metal, carpentry. And it is pretty evident that
the administration has .o- srir p- its major goal. Now the greater
number of the students, over 800, were in the non-college programs. Between
1950 and 1953 it was my task disassemble and eliminate those pA~\;cs oJ f'c.
programP and to bring the college back to its original purpose. We decided
upon a period .
C: What was its original purpose? Excuse me for interupting you.


Page 4






CRSTA 12A


P: Uh Liberal Arts college It started as typically a church related college
for the training of ministers organized by the Home Mission Society of Northern
Baptist Sew,,on_ ., L-'o< Fie-house .
Florida Memorial a United Negro College Fund college. But because of monies,
because of the change and the times we decided that Florida Memorial, we would
devote all of our energies to training elementary school teachers. This is
what we did, and for a period of almost ten years we devoted our attention to
specializing and training of elementary school teachers. And I do not hesitate

to feel that we itured-some of the best elementary school teachers in the state
of Florida. So much so until when the
19A4 decisions to integrate public schools in the state of Florida. Our schools
were called upon to be the first group of teachers to be assigned. Ik&co cc-t
Florida was the first location for secondary school teachers and there were
several _elementary school teachers for. We
decided after a ten year studybased on a grant from the Florida Foundation to
move the college, Liberal Arts dukcct-red We had various found-
ations come in and survey our efforts and our interests.
C: When did the survey start?
P: The survey started in the area of 1957, '56, '57, '58, and it was in 1958 when
a foundation executive came to my office one day and said to me Why do you
keep this college St. Augustine" and
I was baffled at this type of question because they didn't know the motive
behind it. was that our foundation will not
be able to give your college the kind of support that you need, because this
community is really not large enough 1 O 9(i/ this kind of
support that you need. Although 4. 5 ~ t A r/,% was, had just
completed raising $34,000 which represented a very large sum of money, the
largest sum of money to my knowledge for any project, even more than the
amount of money raised from the United Fund for higher education. St. Augustine


Page 5





CRSTA 12A


P: was a one man power structure which may-be bm'Me 1/- / Tro tourist

town. Our college was unique in a city of that kind. In the early years we

had an integrated faculty while the town had some questions about it, as long as

the faculty members lived on campus there was Ve~yY i1*T7 o-f-the-

ac-t-ions. My wife and I were accorded privileges which were not normal to the

pattern of segregation.
C: Um hum

P: Frankly I do not recall any experience / ; Ls ^ ..

that led me to react as I was brought up. That was a situation with the
banker, a young lady, the teller, asked me for my first initials stood for
and I took colorfull poir[t of view in answering her. As I told her that I

did not know her socially well enough, and I doubted seriously if I would

know her socially well enough to, for us to be on a first name basis. The

president of the bank was the treasurer of our board and I reported it to him.

He immediately took the teller to task.
C: Was this Frank Carrol.

P: Frank Carrol, one of the finest men that I know. He was really the-hnoored
man in that town and our college u o s/orj f -, A, N y A, SegV-

He was not only supportive of the college, he was liberal in his pler-r

view in reference to our education. I could very well understand personally
why the pressures came in 194, and-tH-s-happened fe ba-dewato my board as

a member.

C: When did he resign, you don't remember the year?
P: It was, itwas it was very around 19,~4, shortly

thereafter. But this never affected the relationship between myself and Mr.

Carrol, neither did it affect the relationship between the college and the

bank. Even today, I bank with the St. Augustine National, the Barnett National
Bank and-the St. Augustine /o And the young man who was the

courier and drove the president of the bank to our c d, ____meetings


Page 6






CRSTA 12A


P: is now president of the bank, Edward Cosgrove and if you haven't interviewed
him he would be a marvelous person to interview. Have you interview Mr.

Carrol.
C: Yes.

P: Mr. Ed Cosgrove would be a marvelous person to interview because he has, he is,

he has come through the period just before the Supreme Court decision, has been

a part, an active part of seeing the change that has come to St. Augustine. Now
I don't know whether Reverand Wright told you about (: 6z o

but one of the interesting facets about the race relations in St. Augustine,

especially during the crisis of iIT 6 1- 7 Martin Luther King
was. . The fact that Iworked with the power structure to the point where

they, we had come to the conclusion that there was no longer a sensitive thing

to maintain a separate but equal relationship. Our students have SAT i J
at the five and ten cent store. Power structure has asked me, do-you-want--to-
eget-them-oDff, and I told them the students _and I had

as long as they were good students I acted in accordance with the rules and

regulations of the institution I wouldn't oask 4- ^ sh-i U o~Rt AI c-a-

activities and I felt t -~ tvk- J_ was doing was Co_ _-T
In 19,54, on the Supreme..Court decision
This community relative to all other communities. In this community it shouldn't
be too difficult to do it because it was a tourist town. 'Once we got one man

in that town, and you notice I'm not calling his name)to decide that it was

the proper thing to do. We set September of 1904 or '65, I do', not recall the
exact dateto open everything, let the students of our college open everything

since they had been the instigators of sitting w4-h-the-ei-ty. We had a dentist

there who was very young who felt that that wasn't early enough. Having lived

to be 52 under the system of segregation, it didn't seem a long time to me to'
wait two monthLs to do things, and frankly I, it hasn't affected me too much
anyway.


Page 7






Page 8


C: This was Dr. Haling/
P: Dr. Haling, that used to be, have you talked with him?
C: Yes.
P: Well I can imagine the type of report that you got from him. Did he tell you
about his experience with the KKK?
C: Yes

P: Well he came by to invite me to a weddingg 6nt /, r and I told him I
hadn't even-seen-the invitation

and if I did I doubt if I would attend. It was just that simple.
C: Was he, does he, I don't kpow if you know him, tbut there is a suggestion that

he went out there and informed the q% Jacksonville television station that he
was going out there, and tried to get them to cover the event so that they'd get
attention for their movement ,N 53. o T,
P: I do not know anything about that. I do recall my having told him point blank
that I didn't intend
C:
P: Uh, Bob
C:
P: he needed to be going to the f '{/. l/ /T/T vAJ meeting.
C: Can I back up for a minute and just ask you a couple of questions about the
faculty of the college. Where did your faculty come from and how large was it?
P: The college at that time was rather small and our faculty was small, we had
three white teachers, we had oe- ---- ko Jbs o;, /eec
of a teacher, and all the rest were black. But we didn't have any white teachers

]who even lived in the community a 4 M vr- We did not have any
problem at all with the community until I hired a Chinese man. Dr. Chao or
Choa. He is at Patterson, New Jersey, a member of the faculty. He was a specialist

in communication, that was the basis of my hiring'him, a PhD in communications.


CRSTA 12A





CRSTA 12A Page 9


P: And this was a-eu~rent area. u/A 4e two Coucts cJ University of Florida,

knew math, so he obviously knew something about the new math, that's where


C: Um hum.

P: And um our JcSJ w4-,o k ljC q

University of Florida, after the University of Florida also became /,sr~v qrct


P: .it's uh ___- _ n pI LW x __ __


End Side 1
'.''' ^ * ; * ~ .





CRSTA 12A


P: All of the white faculty had thair PhD's and they were educated, some of them

were foreigner's. Dr. (iqc k_____ was the Administrator of

Economics, .- CzoL.^^/y ^ l,4 -L L,-.- 'K^ '' l- 1 Dr. Choa

w had comento be educated fo rac-,rwe ,A c4 n cA Dr. Lee was in the
area of history was trained in both China and the United States


C: Oh yes

P: _- u um he was quite good. My director of music,
P: L---'- -- ,,_.- -pcTrc- O-Lt I '
while he did not hold a PhD was highly educated. He ae~ie-le ce 4'. rfN

for a while, though his speciality grew with the college choir. He traveled

throughout the state with his wife and children. Now we had only one incident

in our total travels and that was at Marianna, Florida where

C: They have lots of p)Rob(~5 in there, right?

P: Marianna, not Marianna. -s t another towr.n---

C:

P: It was in West Florida this side of the uh)it would have to be

name of the town
C: What about your students, now how many students did Florida Memoait~ l have when
you arrived? App rMOX'Kh IrTe l

P: It had 105 academic students and around 900 non academic


C: Right, where did they come from? Where did your students come from, where they

from Florida and St. Augustine or ?

P: Possibly when I arrived at Florida Memorial, Florida Normal Industrial as it was

called at that time ___. The students,i6 possibly 80 percent

were from the state of Florida and from other areas. We probably had more

Methodists than we had Baptists. There were

the more Baptists that we had.

C: Did you have many from St. Augustine?


Page 10





CRSTA 12A


P: We had a number of students from St. Augustinebut St. Augustine is typical
of A o#0 tk C ,l0 __..

C: Where the students from middle-class black backgrounds, would you say?
P: Oh yes, but we were very fortunate to receive families from the better homes

in the state of Florida, doctors lawyers' children because we think that our

teaching program, our program is especially 4, 4, -4anj' /9ck -.

then as we move into the different arts we received a grant from the Kellogg
Foundation /i Prc Srt-Atgustine to establishing the state. And
it wasn't two years before business administration had outgrown all the rest

of the colleges. So when we went to Miami . .
C: What year was that, yot went to Miami?

P: In August of 1968, the campus had been completed with the air conditioner'. One,
two dormitories had been completed, 0C) .Of, AOmINSTrtarivt
parts of the gymnasium

doors opening out to a large sitting area

I had taken this ~^ Science
Center, first Science Center, and the teaching building, where all the doors
opened to an out, outside on the
second floor by the offices. Have you ever been on the campus?
C: No I haven't.

P: If you ever go on the campus you'll find the center where all the secretaries,
secretaries

C: Did the college move there, now you told me the study started well before the

racial crisis but .
P: We started in 1958 with the idea of a new location because of this question of

foundation support and other support.
C: Was it, was the, did the move uh gain momentum because of the problems arising
in 1963 and '64?

P: Not in my church/


Page 11






CRSTA 12A


C: Not in your church.
P: I would suspect that other people might do that, but I usually give four or five
reasons for relocation. Number one was the fact that when I arrived in Florida,
the center of black population was in Ocala. By 1965, '63-'65, the black pop-
ulation had moved to West Palm Beach county, Broward county and Dade county, and
there was not a single institution in that area that was serving the special inter-
ests of that group. We did a special study, and we had selected four areas. This
was even prior to a lot of the racial strife in 1963 you see. This was back in
the '50's. And Orlando, where we owned 42 acres of land, uh Duval county had
Edward Waters College. West Palm Beach, we were offered over 200 acres of land

by the 4m Banker, McArthur, but the cost of refilling it was so enormous the
-it_ didn't even accept the offer. Then because of the straight
line location of colleges across the middle part of Highway 4, Bethune Cookman,
you had two colleges in Orlando, you had two colleges in Tampa, the University
of Tampa, Florida's University of South Florida. We decided that we were going
in any direction it would have to be what would be referred to as a
Well there was our first location was at r, w cv j /4 If- 91n h and
27th Avenue. Well the government owned 160 acres of land, we actually had option
on that piece of land. I cannot explain to you today politically what happened,
except to know that if a county, a city, municipality or a state or the United
I5
States desired a piece of property which -t-already owned/even though a somebody
had bought it, they would buy their interest or take it off of them. We lost
that I think basically because the expressway coming, going east and west from
the Pr(I fr-4 -Meadow to 195 across to Miami Beach was between our college
and the development of nor N- Junior College. And I suspect that
some interest of the Junior College had something to do with it because I recall
distinctly when we were moved to Miami, faculty members from the Junior College...

IhP! i\My^I \^JL-F .__L~j ^f*^ W 4S>-^pez~--cI.-^t)-____





CRSTA 12


P; this actually happened. And uh this despite the fact that we had constituted or

organized a group of all the college presidents, they had welcomed us to the
community. The welcome was of such a nature that we opened with over 700
students from 275. We went in with growing pains, growing pains to the point

of we had budgeted $50,000 for relocation which included the moving of faculty.

Incidentals of moving whatever -_,_ __- that you were going to take

and the library books which we would use. It cost us$803,000 to move over here

because we had to build special hous.s7 for our male students. And the enrollment

from the urban community was of such that, so large, because they couldn't
qualify to go to the University of Miami, there was no question about that, they

couldn't pass the exam ,-ejrc~ eyern.s
and they didn't have, even though Florida was very liberal at-that time- the

College: Admissions, it had not reached the point where, whi-eh-t-rarety-did,

had reached people beyond Chicano's, Cubans, anything else except blacks born in
America, and that is an honest appraisal.

C: Letrme, let me get us back to the racial crisis. The first incident that seems

to occur as I read through the e 0 e tvt- s besides some of the

early things that took place, was in '63 when President Johnson, or Vice-President
Johnson, excuse me, was coming to St. Agustine, that's the first I guess key
development that occurred. What uh, what involvement did you have in that?

P: My wife and I were guests at the dinner, and he came overto our table and our

own governor was with him and he ignored us completely and passed on by.

C: Bryant?
P: Bryant.

C: Did uh, were you the only black A people at the h . .

P: My wife and I were the only blacks in vited to the dinner.
C: Was, did Haling bring much pressure on you to try and discourage you from going or?

P: He didn't know anything about it and didn't have anything to do with it.

C: Yea, I know he wrote .






CRSTA 12A 14

P: I am not sure that, I, I don't recall the time that Haling actually came, I'd

have to . .

C: It was about 1960 he came to St. Augustine but he didn't become involved in

any of the racial things . .

P: See, when he came to St. Augustine, the man that was there before he was

C: Dr. Gordon.

P: Dr. Gordon was a Panamanian and 99 to 95% ef-the- r,-so4 s4V le was white.

Haling just took this over.

C: Right.

P: And I said to him more than a half a dozen times but Goddammit, that he would have

to be extremely careful of the big difference between being a /egroe born in

America and a Panamanian, regardless of what his color was as long asAslicked

back hair. And this man had an access of wide open privileges to the hospital,

which Haling did not have.

C: What kind of man was Haling? Why was he uh .

P: He was typical of that period, of the 60'Os. He went to school at a time when

the characteristics, the teachings, the uprising the students was a normal thing.

Now I don't know if anybody told you this or not, but I'd like to share it with

you. The ___\ movement had really taken over St. Augustine. Their

leader, anybody tell you that?

C: No.

P: The Muslim movement, I'm talking about the violent group, that's why I call

them Mooselims and not Muslims, and the leader of the cult was a student on

my campus. I had a conference with her

C: What was her name?

P: I prefer to not give her name because the fact that all of those youngsters

were able to get jobs despite the law in the state of Florida that anybody who

was engaged in a, in a uprising or that sort of thing would not be eligible

for employment or )' r-, schools. I have found the,
the





CRSTA 12A


P: convenient not to call any names. But um, I talked with her and personally

called Martin Luther King myself, because I felt that had his organization,
believing in non-violence, come to St. Augustine it would be more valuable. And
to have my young people associated with a group with that point of view, it
would be more important than to see the continuation of this group that was
ready to burn the town down. And I doubt thqetr uccn. o s y if they
S managed--the-managed-the-whi.tes v- -s. t s 4 tcom-. C rm-e frvo loui I.
knew-about-i-t. Had a meeting over in the Zion Baptist Church, and a Reverend
Lee, he was connected with the Martin Luther King movement came to the
community, and from that point on they led the activities of non-violent

effort in the city of St.'Augustine. And I remember distinctly when the uh
confrontations came. I call, I have a special conference with Martin Luther
King at the First Baptist Church, at th-s time one of the leaders of the Ku
Klux Klan came. I want to know why nothing but niggers can speak on national
television and I asked him if he wanted to be on national television and he said

yes. And he came on television A,- / c'ts ,CLL 5\' *'_E
*i c: <,M>S

P: /ie/vs i that's right, I'm responsible for IDefvo s
being on television, First Baptist Church.
C: What sort of support did you get from the white leaders, like, like Wolf, like
Frank Harrell when things got tough and people like hrctvus were
P: I had an open door privileges And at
no time did,,they show to me personally, but I knew what their attitudes were.
I knew the attitude of the community, I knew the4. Mayor's attitude.

C: Um hum, Shelley.
P: That was Shelley. And they mayor's wife had made a very unfortunate mistake which
I would rather not mention. I'd have somebody call
And we did not have any relationship at all. The only distasteful experience
that I had was the occasion when I asked the executive co ,,,-~ of





CRSTA 12A


P: my board of trustees to meet with some white leaders and there was an agreement

not to have television or radio. And they knew what would happen if radio or

television showed up. Now how it got to happen know but when we sat down to have

our meal in the courthousetelevision came in, the radio came in and then
coteA6 e1dw& One of the purposes of that meeting, the results of the

purposes of that meeting would have led to some understandings which I think would

have been an example for the whole state of Florida.

C: Who was there from the white community?

P: The main people whocould speak.

C: Was Shelley there?

P: I do not recall if he was there.

C: Wasn't he the real obstacle because of his- such a John Birch follower and uh

even though Wolf and the others wanted to end the crisis .

P: I have never been able to understand why a man whose, more than 50 percent of

his life as a black was as far to -_ u the left or

C: Right.

P: Far to the right as he is so' so much so until I never had a ny

contact with him. I remember when they burnt up the brand new car that my

minister at the First Baptist Church had, they called up to notify me that they

were going to-burn the two cars in my yard, my wifes car and mine, the car I

used to drive. And I simply told them what would happen to them if they came

on my private property. And there was an attempt to burn a cross on our campus,

but we had 47 private citizens in the campus, well armed and with the action that

night, there was never any attempt made to bother our schools as com /aTYry
+bok
___as a matter of fact my college librarian and three hundred
dollars and


C: Did your students participate actively with King in the demonstrations in '64?

P: They were biggest main source.





CRSTA 1.2A


C: And they cooperated with King on this?
P: They were bright students. It wasn't a question of cooperation. I stayed alone
I was the president of the /Ps kJs-i_. The student, I did
that even at political activities, the student council, even in Miami and in
S- y-. t k iw Any politician who was possibly
one of the greatest senators in the state of Florida uh would come to our campus,
he would come at the invitation of the students. I would go to meet him, and I
would want to attend. And men would know my position, but I never
I was like any other college president who ever was elected president or
Governor. I felt the need to visit him and congratulate him and /9'v ~oo
i r hirmaer him the importance of his/contribution to the welfare~ > i /s f A oj
C: Now uh
P: And I had the good fortune as evidenced by the fact that I feel that 4- governor..
Askew named me the first black to the Judicial Qualifications Commission in the
state of Florida, and I remained there until it was necessary for me to leave.
[cd aTj CS a//_ who was the chairman of the board of __ __-_._ _
of which I am a member r ____ member of that commission. Now
that commission needs --Tie_-pmsz4-o-ef Ij /(Ly ./j __ME- Ci ,dJ- A
state of Florida. And that to me was the icing on my experience in the state of
Florida.
C: Did you ever meet with King or with Andrew Young?
P: All of them, all of them.
C: What was the nature of the conversations that you have had with them?
P: Never what their duty and responsibility was. It was always at the level of a

professional. I invited Andrew Young to speak the students, I invited King to
speak to the students, I invited King to preach to the students.
C: I see, so it wasn't to discuss developments in St. Augustine?
P: Never, I never had anything, I never participated except I went to the public
meetings. I don't remember, recall missing any public assembly which was called





CRSTA 12A


P: by the SCLC. Because I felt that the non violent approach basically was more
important, and the only time that I differred with Dr. King was when I had to tell

him that I felt that anytime a movement leads to confrontationit's time for the

organizer to sit down and find out points at which this is responsible, what
::causes it and let's eliminate that. Now that's as far as I went and I spoke only
to him.

C: Now you did testify though before the Florida Civil Rights Commission came to

St. Augustine. I remember that, I've got records of the testimony before that,
,i and you were very critical of conditions in St. Augustine when you testified at
That time..

P: I would suspect that u' I would be critical at that time because when I employed

a Chinese dean, the anti-American activities C"m c_____

wanted my fingerprints, and I went to my attorney to find out why that was nece-
ssary, for an anti-American Activies Commission wanted to have my fingerprints
because I hired a dean. I had asked the FBI, Isought all the sources of infor-

mation including CIA intelligence and FBI. Neither one of them would give me

any information on this man, so I had every perfect right to move on my, on what-
ever I was able to work on. Now, I don't recall any of the leaders of the St.
Augustine community like the Mayor or Mr. Harrell
I don't remember giving any negative remarks. I had the

on my board, the Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Florida
Baptist Convention, Dr. John McGuire. I don't remember him being, giving any

negative attitude towards the _4cAo' oa V ----- ..
C: What uh, why did, did you think when Dr. King left, that he left St. Augustine
in bad shape?

P: Well,
C: Was it worse after he left than before?

P: Yes, it was worse, it was worse because the Ku Klux Klan was Oc-mG jj LwL





CRSTA 12A


C: Now this, it wasn't worse because of what Dr. King had done?

P: No

C: But rather because the white leaders refused to leave and let the Klan
(talking together)

P: This is directly after : tesr _spoke over the television.

C: I see.

P: It, it upset the total community. And even those@ people who had come to the

St. Augustine community to retire, I don't remember any of those people uh

losing interest in the college. They came to vespers on Sundays just like they

had been coming all the time. Because we without question had the best, the best

speakers, the most intellectual cultured activities in the local community. And

we invited all of the people h-at we thought would come. I recall one experience

that I had, I thought I knew a white minister well enough to ... Dr.

Channing Bias who was head of the Colored Work Committee YMCAby his residence to

meet him, and I went through-the service committee

C: This was under Seymour wasn't it?

P: No,

C: Wasn't his name ?_

P: I, I'd have to hear it in order tz remember it.
COMw, Ile
C: Did, were you asked to be on that biracialthat Governor Bryant tried to form?

P: No.

C: Now that thing failed, it never exen was created.

P: NO, I was not asked to be on it.

C: Um hum, what uh, what did you thirk of Dr. Halings role at the end, as you look

back on the . .

P: As I look back on it I'll tell yoi what I told him. I told him, I told him

sitting on the political chair, I said I can understand your point of view
but I think on account of the legal trip,





CRSTA 12A


P: I said you're not a Martin Luther King. I said you do more work dealing with

people sitting right here in this chair if you keep your mouth shut. And they
S 'know the type of work that you can do _
S He went from there to Cocoa, went crazy as far as I know.

C: Right, he's still there, yes. What uh, what were race relations like after the

fall of 1964 till when you left and went to college down in Miami? Did things

ever improve again? Were they better after the .

P: If they did, they didn't affect us at the school because it was between that time

that they built a sidewalk all the way from the middle of town all the way out

to the campus, they put lights all the way out to the campus, and they paved the

street all the way out"to the campus, and I think there was some attempt to rear

a creative atmosphere in the black community that was wholesome. Now I think if
you talk to some of the old citizens of the community _vA_,4 a_ t like J. A.

Webster who was responsible for that. He lives right there on Kings Road. Or

Murray who is a retired principal who lives there. Now these are people with

whom I worked. We worked together, to the end of resolving the racial strife

in the community. I wasn't on the side at ever, the distance.

C: Did you work with the Community Relations Service when they came in there?

P: You'd have to call some names because I . .

C: Charles Grigg was one in Tallahassee.
P: If I did I don't recall what happened except that he might have been to my office.
I doubt if he had very much from me.

C: Why didn't, why didn't the Catholic Church cooperate, do you have any understanding

or knowledge of why they failed to say take an active role and help in the crisis

because they were, certainly the most influential church ?

C: Well I think it's possible at that time, and oddly enough ______ _

: End of tape




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