September 21, 2009
Mamie (Sapp) Irvin passed away last week. She was a graduate of Florida Memorial College and a student protester during the 1964 Civil Rights Movement of St. Augustine, FL led by Dr. Robert B. Hayling, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Mamie taught school in Orlando for over 32+ years. Mamie is married to Leonard Irvin both of which were former residents of St. Augustine, FL and demonstrators in the Movement.
Mamie's most memorable experiences of the movement were having to take part in a Sleep-In at the Monson Motel along with three other students all night long to integrate the motel and being one of the ones in the Monson pool when then manager James Brock poured acid into the pool to get her and other demonstrators out. Film footage and pictures of that incident were broadcast around the world (see photo). A segment of the HBO Episode: The Swim Gap, which was featured last week and is still being broadcast, has vintage footage of the incident in which Mamie is clearly visible. Mamie is one of the Un-Sung Sheroes of the Movement. She will be thoroughly missed by her husband, children, grandchildren, students, and family.
Peace & Blessings,
Gwendolyn Duncan, President
The 40th ACCORD, Inc.