"What we ask is simple... impartial service for all." These words were displayed on signs worn by protesters in front of retail stores located along Jefferson and Monroe streets in Tallahassee nearly 60 years ago. Thanks to a landmark project, these same words are now engrained into the Tallahassee-Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk, an innovative and artistic commemorative sidewalk that will allow citizens the opportunity to take a walk back in time to a period that significantly altered Tallahassee and the entire country.
"Footsteps to Freedom" Documentary
On the evening of Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, the City of Tallahassee debuted "Footsteps to Freedom," a documentary highlighting the 1960s lunch counter sit-ins and the 1956 bus boycott. These events promoted civil rights and prompted changes in Tallahassee and across the nation. This documentary also showcases the creation and construction of the Tallahassee-Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk. Produced by Emmy award winning WCOT station manager Thomas Bronakoski, the one-hour documentary is part of the City’s continued commitment to help memorialize these historical events and share the stories of the people who participated in them.
Take a journey back in time as you watch this video that chronicles the experiences of several foot soldiers as they, or their descendants, recall very personal and emotional memories. Rev. Henry Steele, Vince Larkins, Priscilla Stephens Kruize and the late Morris Thomas are a few of the individuals who share their stories.
Heritage Walk Unveiling
The Tallahassee-Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk honors more than 50 civil rights activists, also known as foot soldiers, who took part in Tallahassee's 1960s lunch counter sit-ins and the 1956 bus boycott, which was considered the second major bus boycott in the United States. More than 500 people attended the unveiling of the Heritage Walk on Sept. 30, 2013. A full image gallery of the Tallahassee-Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk event is available on Facebook.