Speaker will be author and historian Derek Boyd Hankerson

Historic City News readers are patriotically invited to attend the open meeting of Saint Augustine Tea Party on Tuesday June 12 at 6:30 pm, held at the Village Inn located at 900 North Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

The special guest speaker will be author, film director and historian, Derek Boyd Hankerson, M.A., who was born in Chicago but grew-up in Prince George’s County Maryland, 15 miles outside the Nation’s Capital.

He has been actively engaged in government and politics for 34 years, and held three presidential appointments; serving in President George Walker Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, and President Ronald Reagan’s administration in Washington, DC.  In 2016, Hankerson served as President Trump’s Northeast Florida Regional Field Director, and the RNC Victory 16, Field Organizer for St. Lucie County.

Currently Hankerson is a Constituent Services Representative, responsible for daily operations in the U.S. House of Representatives Office for Port Saint Lucie, and he is also a faculty member and lecturer at three Florida colleges.

Among his credits, he has co-authored a book, “Belonging: The Civil War’s South We Never Knew”; and co-produced documentary films related to the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

Like many families during the Civil War, 12 members of the Hankerson family fought for the south, and 10 fought for the north, including the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment which was the first military unit consisting of black soldiers.

His great, great, grandfather Reverend, J. H. Hankerson was appointed by President William Taft as the first black Postmaster in Armstrong in 1908, his cousin Dr. Julies Fields, was a former captain in the Florida National Guard, and was one of the first black dentists in Lincolnville from 1954-1964, his cousin Reverend Elijah H. Hankerson was pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church on King Street when that church was founded in 1932.

  • Derek’s family is native to St. Johns county, his ancestry dating from the 18th century. He is a direct Gullah-Geechee descendant, and his next film, “Gullah Geechee Corridor and East Coast Greenways”, (Beatrice-Boyd and Hankerson-Henry Productions), is due out August 1, 2018.  Shown locally on PBS, Derek will be on NPR on August 1 to discuss the film.

At this month’s meeting, he will discuss the historical perspective of St. Augustine, St. Johns County, and contributions made by veterans dating to 1565.  Question and answer session to follow, time permitting. The meeting is open to the public. There is no admission charge, so bring a friend.

Follow the Town Crier Committee on St. George Street at SaintAugustineTeaParty.org

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