Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 1964, only a few weeks before the Civil Rights Act became law, marking a crucial victory in the struggle for equal rights, Dr. Martin Luther King and his allies from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference staged a series of protests in St. Augustine, FL, a resort community where racial segregation was still the order of the day. After several days of protests that often led to violent retaliation against the demonstrators, several SCLC activists arrived at the Monson Motor Lodge; the motel stated that its swimming pool was to be used by whites only, and in defiance several African-Americans dove in. James Brock, owner of the motel, responded by pouring hydrochloric acid into the water in full view of newsreel cameramen. More than four decades later, filmmaker Jeremy Dean traveled to St. Augustine to examine both the shocking events of the past and what the city is like today. In the documentary Dare Not Walk Alone, Dean interviews James Brock as well as other residents about the 1964 protests, and offers a profile of the city that shows how far St. Augustine has come, and how far it still has to go in terms of real racial equality.
motel, protest, race-relations, racism, swimming-pool