A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979)

A. Philip Randolph, the first president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was born in Crescent City, Florida, and grew up in Jacksonville. The son of a Methodist minister, he attended the City College of New York, and later published The Messenger, a radical black magazine.

The 1937 contract between the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the Pullman Company cut working hours, increased pay, and improved working conditions.

Randolph was also a major influence in ending discrimination in defense plants and segregation of the U.S. military. He was director of the August 28, 1963 March on Washington, D.C. — the largest civil rights demonstration in American history.

Group portrait of members attending the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters convention in Washington, D.C.

Group portrait of members attending the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters convention in Washington, D.C.

The membership of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters included the African-American porters and maids who worked on the railway trains. Randolph, Benjamin McLaurin, and Julius and Eliza Rosier Glass were natives of Jacksonville. Julius was a fireman on the Florida East Coast Line.

Portrait of A. Philip Randolph

Portrait of A. Philip Randolph

Eartha M.M. White Tells a True Life Ghost Story

Eartha M.M. White tells this true life ghost story based on an incident from before the Civil War. The story was told to Eartha White by her mother, Clara White, who was raised in slavery on Amelia Island in Fernandina, Florida.

“Ghost Story”

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Eartha M. M. White was a humanitarian, businesswoman and philanthropist from Jacksonville. She created educational opportunities and provided relief to African-Americans in northeastern Florida. White helped found several organizations and institutions, including the Clara White Mission, Mercy Hospital and the Boy’s Improvement Club. She was designated as a Great Floridian by the Florida Department of State in the year 2000.

Eartha M.M. White and her mother Clara White: Jacksonville, Florida (ca. 1910)

Eartha M.M. White and her mother Clara White: Jacksonville, Florida (ca. 1910)

This recording was made in January 1940 as part of the Federal Writers Project. The voice introducing the story is that of Robert Cook. Cook also traveled with Zora Neale Hurston to gather folklife recordings and photographs across the state.

In Florida, the Federal Writers Project was based out of Jacksonville, and directed by historian Carita Doggett Corse. Seven recording expeditions were conducted in the 1930s and ’40s in Florida by Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston, Stetson Kennedy, Robert Cook, and others.

The field recordings were made on acetate disks, usually recorded at 78 rpm. The originals are still housed with the Library of Congress.

Daguerreotype to Digital – A Brief History of the Photographic Process

The daguerreotype was the earliest practical photographic process, but exposure times could be as long as a half-hour. Head clamps held the subject in place so they didn’t wiggle. A later photographic process allowed for fast exposure, but was blue! Another was prone to spontaneous combustion. Archives Supervisor Jody Norman will talk about the history of the photographic process, from the dangers and limitations of early methods to the advent of digital photography.

If you are interested in the history of the photographic process, register for this free webinar, and join us from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST on January 17, 2013!


 

The Honeymooners

The peaceful solitude of Sanibel Island is ideal for a honeymoon. Follow the adventures of honeymooners Lyn and Jim Agramonte, as photographed by the Florida Department of Commerce in January 1957.

Picnic on the beach

Picnic on the beach

Visit to an abandoned house

Visit to an abandoned house

Jim, who was born in London, shows Lyn the art of exploring abandoned seaman’s homes – he explored abandoned houses in England when a boy.

Visit to the Sanibel Island Lighthouse

Visit to the Sanibel Island Lighthouse

Bidding farewell to Sanibel Island

Bidding farewell to Sanibel Island

Orlando in the ’70s

Actor Redd Foxx and actress LaWanda Page at the Stars Hall of Fame (June 1977)

Actor Redd Foxx and actress LaWanda Page at the Stars Hall of Fame (June 1977)

Sightseers on footbridge at the Gatorland Zoo swamp (1979)

Sightseers on footbridge at the Gatorland Zoo swamp (1979)

Couple at Rosie O'Grady's restaurant (1979)

Couple at Rosie O’Grady’s restaurant (1979)

Senator Bob Graham during work day as a bellhop (July 15, 1977)

Senator Bob Graham during work day as a bellhop (July 15, 1977)

Marcia Kernstein, Marlene Stone and Eva Ritt (December 10, 1975)

Marcia Kernstein, Marlene Stone and Eva Ritt (December 10, 1975)

Visitor meeting Eeyore at the Magic Kingdom (June 1977)

Visitor meeting Eeyore at the Magic Kingdom (June 1977)