Who is Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.?

Rodney Lawrence Hurst, Sr. is a civil rights activist, a Black historian, and the author of two award-winning books--It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®! A personal account of the 1960 sit-in demonstrations in Jacksonville, Florida and Ax Handle Saturday, and Unless WE Tell It…It Never Gets Told! which deals with Jacksonville Black History, Jacksonville's Civil Rights History, and Confronting Racism. Hurst 3rd book, Never Forget Who You Are: Conversations About Racism and Identity Development will publish July, 2020

In addition to his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, Hurst served two four-year terms on the Jacksonville City Council. He is responsible for a number of “firsts” in the Jacksonville Community: he was one of the thirteen original national recipients of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Television Fellowships; he was the first Black to co-host a television talk show in Jacksonville on PBS Channel WJCT; he was the first Black male hired at the Prudential South Central Home Office in Jacksonville, Florida; and he was the first Black to serve as the Executive Director of the State of Florida’s Construction Industry Licensing Board. A Silver Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Hurst is involved with a number of Boards and Agencies in the Jacksonville Community. Hurst serves as an adviser to the Center for Urban Education and Policy at the University of North Florida.

Hurst periodically teaches a Black History, Civil Rights, and Racism Class in the University of North Florida’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) Program. He also teaches a class on old school music, specifically Classic Old School R&B and Classic Motown. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

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Rodney L. Hurst, Sr. Civil Rights Activist

Rodney Lawrence Hurst, Sr. is a civil rights activist, a Black historian, and the author of two award-winning books--It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®! A personal account of the 1960 sit-in demonstrations in Jacksonville, Florida and Ax Handle Saturday, and Unless WE Tell It…It Never Gets Told! which deals with Jacksonville Black History, Jacksonville's Civil Rights History, and Confronting Racism. Hurst 3rd book, Never Forget Who You Are: Conversations About Racism and Identity Development will publish July, 2020.      Hurst’s leadership as a teenager during the Civil Rights Movement is also the subject of a chapter in the Scholastic book, Ten True Tales: Young Civil Rights Heroes written for Third Graders to Seventh Graders and ages 8 to 12.

More About Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.

 Hurst periodically teaches a Black History, Civil Rights, and Racism Class in the University of North Florida’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) Program. He also teaches a class on old school music, specifically Classic Old School R&B and Classic Motown. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

     Hurst also served on the Jacksonville Civil Rights Task Force and chaired the Sub-Committee on the Civil Rights timeline for Jacksonville, codified by the Jacksonville City Council. Hurst speaks extensively on Civil Rights, Black History, and Racism. He was the featured speaker at the City of Jacksonville’s 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Breakfast in 2010, the featured speaker at the 2013 Nassau County Annual Martin Luther King Breakfast, and the featured speaker for the 2013 Brevard County NAACP Branch Freedom Fund Dinner. He also was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Induction Ceremony of the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame when Harriette and Harry T. Moore were inducted.

     Hurst nominated his Eighth grade American History teacher, The Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP Adviser, and his Mentor-Civil Rights Icon Rutledge H. Pearson; and he also nominated his longtime friend and Civil Rights Icon Dr. Arnett Girardeau, for induction in the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Pearson was inducted in 2016 and Dr. Girardeau was inducted in 2017. He was the keynote speaker at 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observances in Daytona Beach, and St. Augustine.

     Hurst is the recipient of numerous awards including the Clanzel T. Brown Award given by the Jacksonville Urban League, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Visionary Award given by the National Alumni Association of Bethune-Cookman University, the Outstanding Alumnus Award by the National Alumni Association of Edward Waters College, the President’s Award by the President of the Jacksonville Branch National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Jacksonville, Florida OneJax Silver Medallion Humanitarian Award.

     Hurst and his late wife Ann Albertie (June 24, 1945-September 5, 2016) would have celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on December 10, 2016. Hurst has two sons, Rodney (Vandlyn) and Todd, and two granddaughters, Marquiette (Kyle), and Jasmine. Hurst became a Great-Grandfather when Marquiette and Kyle’s daughter, Everly Ann, was born last year (July 19, 2019). He worships at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church and Bethel Baptist Institutional Church.

Ax Handle Saturday Created by Vanguard Solutions Consulting

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