^^^Well part of my point was that the city actually at one point was one of the most liberal in America and was originally a melting pot and a stew for black leaders and women's suffrage movement leaders. Lots of famous people came out of Jacksonville pre-war and lots of famous and gilded socialites moved to Jacksonville. There are still remnants of that money and those families. We have some furniture in my childhood home from Andrew Carnegie's nearby winter home because my great great grandmother and great great grandfather had a home next door and were friends. Both Henry Bacon and Machine Gun Kelly lived down the street from my home growing up (the former more permanently than the latter, who escaped through an underground tunnel to the river when the FBI came knocking). There are remnants of the duPonts everywhere in town, and my grandfather was a commodore at the same club founded by William Astor two generations earlier.
It only became a southern town in 1948, literally that specific year. Robert Moses' right hand man in the south was Haydon Burns, who essentially is the lead culprit for planning Jacksonville for white flight, racial tension, suburbs, and destroying downtown and the core neighborhoods. He was 35th governor of FL and mayor of Jacksonville from 1949 to 1965. One of his largest friends in city business was Ed Ball, who "inherited" the role of running Alfred duPont's trusts and companies. Alfred duPont was kind of the lead figure of the famous duPont family for his generation, and he lived in Jacksonville, but Ed Ball was a racist. To top it off, the guy who masterminded the Interstate System for the US, created Jacksonville's transportation plan, too. Alan Voorhees. Below is a transcript from Voorhees explaining that Jacksonville should not have busses until it reaches a million people.
And below is a wikipedia on Haydon Burns.
And a great article on the transformation of Jacksonville from a liberal, Hollywood, thriving metropolis to probably the nation's worst epitome of white flight and suburbia:
Downtown Frankenstein: Robert Moses & Haydon Burns
Unfortunately Jacksonville had ALL the WRONG people running and influencing the city from 1948 onward, basically until the present day. It has suffered immensely at the hands of these people.
Between 1948 and 1950 the Burns administration, with the help of city figures such as Ed Ball soaked in, literally destroyed downtown in that short span. His first year in office he implemented parking meters downtown. His first 5 years in office he built 2 new bridges to the Southside and a massive expressway system cutting off downtown from surrounding neighborhoods and building highways to nowhere on the other side of the river. Between 1950 and 1955 he leveled the waterfront and filled it in for parking lots and built the ugliest civic buildings imaginable (all of which still stand). His next 5 years he leveled "slums" the Eastside (where the stadiums and massive parking lots now are). By 1960 he put tolls on the bridges to downtown, after enough people had "fled" the crime and density downtown, essentially cutting off the city from the new city. I-95 was built as a drawbridge, not unpurposely (remained a drawbridge until 2000).
He commissioned Alan Voorhees to design the transit system (which post-streetcar, Voorhees stated that there should not be busses until 1 million people, essentially preventing blacks from getting around or reaching the white southside). This is after he built his expressway system in the 1950s. Eventually the "slums" were replaced with highrise projects all over the Northside, and thus the Northside became the forgotten black side and the southside became the new "center" of town for all the whites. Today, the Southside of town is where most people still live and where the vast majority of all office space is. Industrial space is still scattered about on the Northside and Westside and Jacksonville is still the Murder Capital of FL, all concentrated on the Northside and Westside near the projects.
I have to remind you guys that UNF, a 20,000 student university, could have and should have gone downtown. Unfortunately 2 prominent families, one with massive southside landholdings, decided to collude in the late 1960s to put the university in the middle of nowhere. The Skinner family sold the land and profited, and the family of our prior mayor (the Peytons) used their concrete division to build the highways and roads out there and profited, of course with the administration's fervent support. Our prior mayor also supplied the concrete for our new wayyyy overbudget and oversize courthouse, which he presided over. Jacksonville is every bit as corrupt on the Good Old Boy (GOB/GOP) side as some northern cities are corrupt on the Democrat side. I have to point out, though, that Haydon Burns, Robert Moses, Alan Voorhees and all of those guys were big Democrats. Every administration of Jacksonville until the late 1990s was Democrat. So Democrats' version of "helping" blacks was all really a major double edged sword because their policies were some of the worst in human history and we are all paying now.
I would say that thousands of people have died at the hands of men such as Robert Moses and Haydon Burns.