Black and Brilliant

Rodney L. Hurst Sr.

“Black and Brilliant,” Rodney L. Hurst Sr’s fourth book, written for 12-18-year-olds, revisits the Jacksonville, Florida Youth Council NAACP 1960 sit-ins and Ax Handle Saturday, and the impact of learning about Black History from Rutledge H. Pearson, his Eighth-grade American History teacher, the adviser to the Youth Council, and Hurst’s mentor.

Hurst, the President of the Jacksonville, Florida Youth Council NAACP in 1960 and a leader of the sit-ins at age 16, which culminated in the infamous and violent Ax Handle Saturday -where Hurst and Youth Council members were attacked by 200 whites with ax handles and baseball bats-is the author of the national award-winning book (about those infamous days in Jacksonville), “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!” Because of the “white-out” (Hurst’s reference) by Jacksonville’s white press, and because he witnessed these events firsthand as the President of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP and as a leader of the sit-ins, “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!” is the only accurate description of the 1960 sit-ins and Ax Handle Saturday in segregated and racist Jacksonville, circa 1960. It is, in effect, a history book.

Hurst wrote “Black and Brilliant,” primarily for Young Adults ages 12-18, and looks at those days of Black History, civil rights history, the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP, and Ax Handle Saturday as a preteen and a teenager learning about bigotry, discrimination, and racism, and Black History.

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