Florence Tate
(1931 — 2014)


As remembered by Courtland Cox
December 17, 2014

All, I have been informed by Geri Augusto that her mother and our good friend Florence Tate has passed.

Courtland Cox


As remembered by Larry Rubin
December 17, 2014


I am so sorry for your loss. The passing of your mother is a loss for all of us.



As remembered by Joyce Ladner
December 17, 2014

I am heartbroken because Florence Tate was my closest friend for the ten years I lived in Sarasota. My heart goes out to her husband Charles and her children, Geri, Greg and Brian. We who knew Florence cannot imagine a world without her but like all good soldiers in the movement, she left us with so much and more.



As remembered by Jennifer Lawson
December 17, 2014

Yes, this is very sad news. Florence was an incredible woman!



As remembered by Timothy J. Jenkins
December 17, 2014

Florence-Another SNCC Gift Gone

What a delight it is to have once been on speaking terms with heroes, martyrs and little saints as a commonplace occurrence. What a wonderment to have once been surrounded by living novels and real adventure stories in our unsung history. What a sacrament to share bread and laughter with fellows closer than sisters and brothers in a common discovery of life.

And all these elements came without fanfare or special remark among the family which is SNCC- Brothers and Sisters-in-arms without armaments, but only shared battle scars of honor.

These are our kith and kin without the trappings of consanguinity as the ties that truly bind. Our gift was to have looked into one another's eyes and seen something of ourselves worth being, if but for a little while.

Fortunately, Florence had a home in that rock, don't you see!

Her SNCC brother, Timothy J


As remembered by Bernice Johnson Reagon
December 18, 2014

Florence Tate covered so much ground, she was all over so many efforts, it was a blessing to be caught up in the various transformative storms she helped to create. I cannot remember being around her when she was not involved with others pushing for ways to create supportive change.

Bernice Johnson Reagon


As remembered by Betty King
December 18, 2014

I keep flashing back to the summer of 1978 when we met. Florence's and my desks were next to each other on the second floor of the old Miller Fur store in DC, which was the HQ for Marion Barry's campaign. When most of the staff was out in the field in the evening and she and I lingered in the office preparing for the next day, we'd turn to each other and say, "We're really going to win this!" It was an impossible dream, but we were certain... and it came to pass. So many years of memories and friendship are precious. Florence was a great lady and will be sadly missed.

Betty King


As remembered by Charlie Cobb
July 1, 2015

I would not be able to do this coherently here at Metropolitan AME, Geri, without having written down some of my thoughts and feelings. This is not my medium; I'd rather listen.

Having agreed to share my thoughts and feelings here, I of course struggled with what to say. I didn't feel the need to state the obvious; that I — that we — loved her and she loved us. Or to speak in some political language about out strong sister — also obvious; and her importance to SNCC or black elected officials or the various ways she prodded us.

We all have our memories, some of which we share. It comes down to the personal; that's what fills my mind at this moment: More than once Florence telephoning me down in Mississippi or Atlanta. "Alright you need a break, Charlie; you've been down there long enough so get yourself on up here to Dayton." The sheer and simple comfortable pleasure during that intense period of my life as a SNCC field secretary, of just sitting at the kitchen table in conversation with her and Charles and real food; Geri sometimes peeping around the corner, listening; flopping on the bed with Greg and Brian and Marvel comic books.

You know in my mind, Florence Tate is really the Tate family, and as important a part of my family life as the family I was born into was the embrace of me by this family. So although I miss Florence in the way a younger brother would miss his big sister, looking out and seeing so much of the Tate family here gets me through my feeling of loss with recognition that she is still very much with us.

I cannot give you many minutes here — too hard among other things. But I'd like to conclude with a poem. Among Florence's many powers was her ability to move me from the harder, coarser world of journalism I usually live in, to more thoughtful truths.

So...about Florence.

No comet, she
briefly blazing across our universe.
Rather, a star always there
to give us light.
Still there
Shining in our hearts
Still a light in our soul.

Charlie Cobb.

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