In the late 1950s and early 1960s, many young African American Floridians protested the segregation of public places like the beaches and movie theaters pictured in this collection. While the NAACP was involved in some of the protests, many acts of civil disobedience were committed by individuals and were not coordinated by the NAACP. Demonstrations in other cities (such as Chicago, pictured in this collection) were held in support of the desegregation efforts, while in Floridians who favored segregation organized counter-demonstrations.
Newspaper photographers documented the demonstrations, and many of their photographs were printed alongside articles in newspapers including the St. Petersburg Times and the Chicago Sun-Times. St. Petersburg Times photographers whose work is included in this collection are: Paul White, Weaver Tripp, Johnnie Evans, and Larry Alspaugh. Other photographers include Ralph Arvidson and Emmette Jackson.