Proud of St. Augustine City Commission for honoring Mr. Jackson at their February 14, 2022 meeting. From St. Augustine Record:
St. Augustine civil rights activist James Jackson honored during Black History Month
Jackson: 'I've always thought an injustice to one man, one day, will carry over to the next man.'
James Jackson, a St. Johns County resident and civil rights activist, received a standing ovation at St. Augustine City Hall this week as he walked to the front of the commission meeting room to receive the city's Black History Month proclamation.
Jackson, who by age 19 was already embroiled in the city's civil rights struggle, participated in protests and was arrested for his involvement in the movement. In September 1963, the Ku Klux Klan abducted Jackson along with other local activists, who were beaten and narrowly escaped with their lives.
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The Washington Post recently featured Jackson's story, and Mayor Tracy Upchurch referenced the article at this week's meeting.
"I think what it does so beautifully is to illustrate the roles of so many that in many ways are unsung heroes. And his personal courage, his (commitment) to the struggle is an inspiration to all of us, and we are honored that Mr. Jackson is here to receive the proclamation," Upchurch said.
Jackson is still making his voice heard. In recent years, he frequently stood at the U.S. 1 and King Street intersection, holding signs such as "Black Lives Do Matter" and "All Lives Do Matter." He is a regular participant at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in St. Augustine.
When Jackson spoke at the City Commission meeting this week, he encouraged unity.
"I got involved in the rights movement due to the fact that I've always thought an injustice to one man, one day, will carry over to the next man," Jackson said. "And I was … seeking justice and equality for my people and these United States. And when I'm saying United States, listen to me: We have got to get that word back into the USA ― united ― because divided we will fall."
― Reporter Colleen Michele Jones contributed to this report.