Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with and held at the Mandarin Community Club, located at 12447 Mandarin Rd. Refreshments begin at 6:30 pm with the lecture at 7 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend.

Virtual Lecture on Zoom
February 18, 2021 at 7 PM

Please RSVP to to reserve a virtual seat. You will then be sent the link and instructions for the Zoom meeting.

RODNEY HURST, Civil Rights Activist, Black Historian, and Author

Sixty years ago, on August 27, 1960, Rodney Hurst acted on the the words of his teacher and mentor, Rutledge H. Pearson: “Freedom is not free. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.” At the young age of 16, Hurst was President of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP and Jacksonville was segregated. While peacefully sitting-in at a “white-only” lunch counter in downtown Jacksonville, he and others who were demonstrating for equality were brutally attacked in what is known as “Ax Handle Saturday”.

Ever since, he has been a man who has walked the walk for equality and civil rights for all people in America. His life has been dedicated to this goal. Rodney’s first book, It was never about a hot dog and a Coke, was his personal account of those 1960 sit-in demonstrations as well as what led up to them and transpired afterwards. His second book, Unless WE Tell It…It Never Gets Told, tells the stories of many of Jacksonville’s Black citizens and the important contributions they have made to the community, as well as a history of racism in America. A third book, co-authored with Dr. Rudy Jamison and published in September of last year, is titled, Never Forget Who You Are: Conversations about Racist and Identity Development.

In this lecture, Hurst will present a PowerPoint presentation and discuss aspects of American history, Black history and Civil Rights. Time for Questions and Answers will follow.

As a special part of the program, Sandra Parks, Chairman of the Stetson Kennedy Foundation, will present Mr. Hurst with the organization’s “Fellow Man and Mother Earth Award.” This prestigious award recognizes an individual’s outstanding achievement in promoting environmental kinship, human rights or the preservation of traditional culture.

In one of his books, an African proverb is quoted, “Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.” The topic of this lecture is very timely, and it is important that we all try to learn about the shared history that will help us understand the present. We invite you and hope that you will wish to know more. This promises to be an educational  and inspiring talk. Please share this with your friends.