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Three New Members Inducted to Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame

June 7th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
The Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame has three new members.
They were inducted today during the sixth annual ceremony.
Their achievements were hailed for paving future successes many modern day black leaders.
Patricia Stephens Due spent 49 days in jail for sitting at a whites only lunch counter at a Tallahassee Woolworth’s store.
It’s now recognized the first jail-in of the Civil Rights Movement.
She was inducted into the Florida Civil rights Hall of Fame posthumously.
“Things did not happen just for them to happen. People made some things happen,” said Rondey L. Hurst, Sr. a civil rights author and speaker at the event.
Willie H. Williams, a FAMU graduate, became the first African American hired in Lockheed Martin’s engineering department.
He also worked heavily to eliminate racism in Orlando working on multiple community boards and committees.
Dr. Arnett Girardeau Sr. of Jacksonville is one of the founding members of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislatures.
He became  the first and only Black Senate President Pro Tempore.
“He was a trailblazer,” said Hurst.
Girardeau’s activism in state politics laid the path for many that came after him, including former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll.
“The sacrifices that you [Girardeau] made for a little girl like me to accomplish the things that I’ve been able to, in a state where i would not have been even able to walk the streets in peace,” said Carroll.
“She came along and blazed a trail for not only black republicans, but for republicans.,” said Girardeau.
Each inductee has a plaque on the first floor of the State Capitol Building memorializing their achievements.
The memory of their accomplishments and efforts towards creating a more equal and just Florida will remain on display, with the hope of inspiring the next generation of Civil Rights Activists.
The Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame now consists of 18 members.

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