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Stories from the Road: The Courageous Twelve

Posted on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014.


Our guest bloggers for today: Callie Thuma (center) and Adriana Gallardo (right), with Eliza Bettinger, Mobile Manager. Photo courtesy of WUFT.

We are honored to welcome to the blog Callie Thuma and Adriana Gallardo–Mobile Facilitators as well as our guest writers for the week!

Callie and Adriana brought to our attention a very powerful story from their adventures on the road. Read on as they share this story with you from St. Petersburg, FL–the first stop of our 2014 Mobile Tour.

The Courageous Twelve by Adriana Gallardo and Callie Thuma

When we kicked off our 2014 MobileBooth tour in St. Petersburg, FL, our first interview happened to be between Freddie Lee Crawford and his daughter, Kimberly Crawford.

In 1965, Mr. Crawford and eleven other African-American police officers sued the City of St. Petersburg in an effort to put an end to the de facto segregation within the department. Their landmark lawsuit, Baker v. the City of St. Petersburg, prompted a national movement to integrate law enforcement and other civil service sectors. Crawford and the other police officers became known as, “The Courageous Twelve.”

During our time in St. Petersburg, we were given the opportunity to record with Crawford’s fellow officer, Leon Jackson. Jackson and Crawford are two of the three surviving members of “The Courageous Twelve.” We met many other high-ranking African-American police officers who spoke of the power behind this historical event, including Dr. Goliath Davis III, the city’s first African American Chief of Police.

Leon Jackson and Luke C. Williams636Freddie L Crawford and Kimberly Crawford

StoryCorps Mobile team would like to thank the “Courageous Twelve” and their colleagues for coming to record their stories.


The Courageous Twelve starting from top left: Adam Baker, Freddie L. Crawford, Raymond L. DeLoach, Charles Holland, Leon Jackson, Robert V. Keys, Primus Killen, James King, Johnnie B. Lewis, Horace Nero, Jerry Styles and Nathaniel L. Wooten. Photo Credit: The Carter G. Woodson African-American History Museum, St. Petersburg

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