Mr. Clyde Jenkins, a local barber was kidnapped by the Ku Klux Klan along with Dr. Robert B. Hayling, James Jackson, and the late James Hauser in 1963 while parked along the highway on U.S. Highway 1, currently where Big Lots is located. Had it not been for a white clergyman who infiltrated the Klan, slipping away from the rally and calling the police, these men who were beaten severely and stacked like 'cord wood', would have been burned. This however, did not deter Mr. Jenkins as he continued his non-violent protests for justice and equality.
On June 11, 1964, he was arrested on the steps of the Monson Motor Lodge Restaurant, for seeking service, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Boston University Chaplain, Rev. William England, and Kathryn Fentress. He was sent to jail and can be seen, in an AP vintage photograph, being led away to the police car. Another photograph shows Jenkins along with King in the St. Johns County jail.
Mr. Jenkins and his wife Hattie Hickson Jenkins will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this year. Mr. Jenkins is one of the Unsung Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. and the 2010 recipient of the 2nd Annual Dr. Robert B. Hayling Award of Valor sponsored by Florida State Senator Anthony Hill. This Award was presented the 2nd Day of July, 2010, at the 4th Annual ACCORD Freedom Trail Luncheon “Honoring True American Heroes” of the Civil Rights Movement" of St. Augustine, Florida. The Honorable Congressman John Lewis was keynote speaker, with special guest speaker, Dr. Kathryn Fentress.
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