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Politics

Florida Delegation Wants to Name Post Office After Jacksonville Civil Rights Leader

September 9, 2017 - 6:00am
Rutledge Pearson
Rutledge Pearson

Most of the Florida congressional delegation has lined up behind U.S. Rep. Al Lawson’s, D-Fla., proposal to name a U.S. Post Office after a prominent civil rights leader. 

Lawson’s bill to designate the United States Post Office at 1100 Kings Road in Jacksonville as the Rutledge Pearson Post Office has the support of Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis,  Vern Buchanan, Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, Francis Rooney, Tom Rooney, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Dennis Ross, John Rutherford and Dan Webster and Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and  Frederica Wilson.

“Rutledge Pearson, a Jacksonville native, was an American history teacher, civil rights leader, and distinguished baseball player,” Lawson said on Wednesday when he showcased his proposal. “His legacy in Jacksonville, especially in the fight for civil rights, is long-lasting and this is a fitting way to honor his contributions to our community.”

A graduate of Tillatson College, where he was classmates with slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Pearson taught in Jacksonville. As Lawson noted, Pearson was an accomplished baseball player who played first base for the New York Black Yankees and the Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro League. Pearson tried to move over to the majors but was denied a spot on the Jacksonville Beach Seabirds,  a short lived team in the Florida League in the early 1950s, due to his race. Despite that, baseball remained a major part of Pearson’s life, including serving as a coach at New Stanton High School where he also taught history. 

Pearson became active with the NAACP including being elected as president of the Jacksonville branch in 1961, including being profiled in a cover story in JET magazine in April 1964. Pearson also led the state conference of the NAACP. During his tenure with the NAACP, Pearson fought for civil rights in the Sunshine State, including in St. Augustine where he joined with Dr. Robert Hayling, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in its campaign in 1963-1964. 

In 1967, Pearson was killed in a car accident in Tennessee. Last year, Pearson's older brother Lloyd told First Coast News that he suspected his brother had been murdered. 

Pearson was named to the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2016. He has been honored in Jacksonville with a bridge, an elementary school and a road named after him. 

Comments

Stoop naming structures after people. It will eventually offend someone and cause a problem. If you don't see it that way....Leave the confederate statues in place.

What in the hell is wrong with our Florida Congressional "delegation"?!?!?...These morons "generate" and "foment" anger, hostility, and consternation AT EVERY TURN; all with the sole purpose of getting their damned names in any available "media news dump".... VOTE THESE "GOVERNMENT MAMMARY SUCKING" IDIOTS OUT Floridians (and let's see if they can even hold a "real job")..! ! !

Notice how they all "pile on" to nonsensical legislation?

I see the Hurricane has not yet swept away the "bigots." Name schools after Confederate traitors (YES)!! Name the Post Office in an African American community after a Civil Rights Leader (Bigots cry foul). Hopefully, IRMA sweeps out both Trapper and Army Ops Vet. No more racists. Maybe they'll have one final KKK rally in their water soaked basements.....

If there's ANYTHING worse than a "racist", it's a "Black racist" like "Florida GURL" and "Diane" (among others) who "look the other way" when "Black Lives Matter" creates mayhem and destruction in MOSTLY Black communities...

Now, now, Florida Gurl, don't get your panties all in a wad. Since the blacks constitute about 14% of the population we would be happy for them to have 14% of the statutes that are still standing after the purge. All they have to do is pay for them. Ought to take care of that. While they bees berry successful at procreation, they not bees so good at things like raising the kids, feeding them, giving a doodely dam if they go to school or lean to read write or cipher. Things that might lead them to having a successful life. We promise not to bother your statutes and they leave ours the hell alone. This country has a lot of problems. Confederate generals in parks are not among them.

this is getting like little kids don't get there way they kick, cry n scream....next the anti-against God will want all of Anything with God REMOVED....oop's liberals already have....Guess next Liberals will want to name a School after an serial Sex Offender......What All a Bunch of Losers...these Left Wing Cry babies........

Read the headline that was cut short. Thought it said they wanted to name it after Andrew Jackson, an important man with huge impact on Florida and the country. You might remember him as the man on the $20 till the Obama wacko brigade decided it was time to put a Negress on that common currency. Which is not to demean or diminish Harriet, a brilliant, brave woman of her times. But like saying that Bob Ueker was as important to baseball as Babe Ruth. They did, after all, both play in the majors. Now Los Angeles has torn down a statute of Christopher Columbus and done away with Columbus Day. He was, you know, a racist. Did not realize those idiots even knew who he was or that he bothered them. Most of sane America- you know - the parts between New York and Lalaland- are sick and tired of this horse manure.

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