The media in Jacksonville, at the time of Ax Handle Saturday, was segregated. If mainstream media outlets covered the Black community, it was very minimal and relegated to back page news. The lack of local coverage of the violence on August 27, still looms largely over this story. People around the country were made aware of the violence long before most people living in the city. Then, as now, Black-owned newspapers provided coverage. The Florida Star led the way in regional coverage of the sit-in demonstrations, the violence that would ensue, the ongoing demands for the appointment of a Biracial Committee, the actions (or inactions) of government, the progress of the picket line, and the eventual move to desegregate the lunch counters and other assets throughout the city.
In recent days, the Florida Times-Union Editorial Board published an official apology for their lack of journalistic integrity in 1960, exclusive of the lack of covering this history for decades. An apology, 60 years in the making, tainted with issues that need to be addressed on their own.
Fast forward to the Summer of 2020 and the widespread use of social media, in all its rarest forms, that shows a somewhat different media landscape which allows citizen coverage of violent attacks on Black bodies and the unrest that has rocked communities coast to coast. And with this form of media, it finds itself under attack from administrations that would rather not have a bright light shined upon their work.
In the voice of Rodney L. Hurst Sr., from his book, It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!