Acclaim

BOOK AWARD SYMBOLS



It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®! has won more a dozen awards, including: the USA Book News Book First Place Gold Medal Award for Multi-Cultural Nonfiction;  the  Independent Publisher Awards Silver Medal for Nonfiction;  the New York Library Silver Medal for Nonfiction; the Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal in Nonfiction;  the Inaugural Stetson Kennedy Award by the Florida Historical Society;  the  City of Jacksonville’s Historic Preservation Award;  the Sabrina Book Reviews Award for Best General Non-Fiction Book;  the Sabrina Book Reviews Award as the Best Book of the year;  and the Southeast Region Reader Views Literary Awards Best Book for Nonfiction.


“It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!” Wins First Place in South East Region in Reader Views Annual Literary Awards(March 5, 2009-Austin, Texas) “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!” written by author Rodney L. Hurst, Sr. was selected as the Winner in the Southeastern Regional Nonfiction Category for 2008 by Reader Views Annual Literary Awards – Reviewers Choice. The annual awards were established to honor writers who self-published or had their books published by a small press, university press, or independent book publisher.

“It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!” subtitled “A Personal Account of the 1960 Sit-in Demonstrations in Jacksonville, Florida and Ax Handle Saturday” and published by WingSpan Press, recounts the times, the mood, and high racial tension in Jacksonville during the civil rights movement. “I am again honored by the recognition of my book which simply sought to tell the true story of courage and personal sacrifice in the fight against racism in Jacksonville Florida during the late fifties and early sixties”, said Hurst.

“Reader Views reviews more than 2,000 books per year from budding authors who have worked hard to achieve their dream of being published,” Reader Views Managing Editor Irene Watson says. “Our Annual Literary Awards recognize the very best of these up-and-coming authors, all talented writers who we know have very promising writing careers ahead of them.”

The Reader Views Annual Literary Awards are granted in fiction and nonfiction categories, as well as regional, global and specialized sponsored categories. The entries are first read and judged by Reader Views reviewers, all avid readers with a wide range of experiences, considered experts in the respective fields. The second line judges make the final decision.

 

KiJas Group

 


“It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!” wins 2008 Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal“It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!” was recently selected as a Bronze Medal Winner in the Nonfiction Category of the 2008 Florida Book Awards book competition.

According to the Florida Book Awards, Hurst’s book competed with more than 135 books from major publishing houses such as Harper-Collins, W. W. Norton, Houghton Mifflin Hoarcourt, and various University Presses. Eight category book juries of three members each, nominated from across the state by cosponsoring organizations, selected the medal winners.

The Florida Book Awards is an annual program established in 2006 that recognizes, honors, and celebrates the best Florida literature published the previous year. It is coordinated by The Florida State University Program in American and Florida Studies, and co-sponsored by the Florida Center for the Book, State Library and Archives of Florida, Florida Historical Society, Florida Humanities Council, Florida Literary Arts Coalition, Florida Library Association, “Just Read, Florida!,” Governor’s Family Literacy Initiative, Florida Association for Media in Education, Florida Center for the Literary Arts, the Florida State University Friends of Libraries, and Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America.

Hurst will receive his Bronze Medal at the Florida Book Awards Banquet held in conjunction with the 2009 Florida Library Conference in Orlando, Florida on May 7, 2009.

This is the 7th Award for Hurst and “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke®!”

 

KiJas Group

 


RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
 

 



 

________________________________________

Non-fiction/ Memoir

It Was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke!

Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.

WingSpan Press

2008

ISBN: 978-1-59594-195-4

Soft cover

191 pages

Author Rodney L. Hurst, Sr. offers a historical gift to the literary world in his memoir It Was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke. Hurst provides a detailed account of his involvement in the August 27, 1960 sit-ins at Jacksonville, Florida whites-only lunch counters. The demonstration erupted in violence instigated by a white mob wielding baseball bats and ax handles. The day became known as Ax Handle Saturday. This event elevated a young Hurst to the position of civil rights fighter and shaped the life of a man who continues to be vocal about the plight of African Americans in the United States.

Hurst was only eleven-years-old when he joined the Youth Council National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) under the encouragement of his junior high school American History teacher, Rutledge Pearson. Through the years, Pearson became Hurst’s mentor and friend. The admiration that Hurst feels for his late teacher is expressed throughout the pages of this book.

“How do you maintain your dignity in a segregated society designed to take your dignity? You continue to hold your head high (19).”

Jacksonville in 1960 was typical of many southern towns. Jim Crow laws were both real and enforced in churches, schools, and retail stores. The Youth Council, led by Pearson, Hurst, and other prominent adult figures in the NAACP, strategically and non-violently pushed for the integration of white lunch counters in Woolworth, Kress, and McCrory Department stores. Hurst, who at sixteen-years-old was president of the Youth Council, and his peers—young and courageous junior high and high school students—sat quietly at lunch counters as white waitresses and managers refused to serve them. And the white patrons tormented them with racial slurs and physical assaults. The violence that took place on August 27th was the white community’s response to the on-going sit-ins, but the blood that was spilled that day involved blacks who were not even a part of the Youth Council’s cause.

I am writing this review in the month of April during the week of the fortieth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and nearly three weeks after Barack Obama’s speech on race in America. As I read about the sit-ins and the responses of some white citizens in Jacksonville (Hurst makes a point of highlighting whites who were supportive of the Youth Council’s efforts), I frequently turned away from the book. The images the narrative conjures up were disturbing. As an African American woman, I have grown-up seeing the type of images Hurst describes. But as a mother with a son who is now only a year younger than Hurst was when he was leading this group of young people, I am disgusted by the cowardice that drove a mob of so-called adults to attack children. Reading this book while absorbing the significance of the aforementioned events left me raw and also proud. Proud that Hurst was courageous enough to participate in the Civil Rights Movement and proud that he continues to serve the cause over forty years later.

“When we started sit-in demonstrations, we wanted everyone to know eating a hot dog and drinking a Coke would not be our focus.  Human dignity and respect would be our fundamental focus… (55).”

It Was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke is a dramatic, effective account of demonstrations that contributed to the shaping of civil rights for African Americans in the United States. The author’s offering of historical detail is a gift that should be shared with the young and the old as proof that individuals can permanently alter oppressive systems that ultimately affect us all.

Melissa Levine for Independent Professional Book Reviewers

________________________________________________________

Biographies and Memoirs

Title: IT WAS NEVER ABOUT A HOT DOG AND A COKE
Author: RODNEY L. HURST, SR.
Rating: Must Read!
Publisher: WING SPAN PRESS
Web Page: wingspanpress.com
Reviewed by: Rod Clark
As Mr. Hurst explains, the demonstrations were about “human dignity and respect. Lunch counters were just visible and convenient venues to attack racial discrimination.”Whether you are black or white it is hard to read this book without experiencing grief, horror and dismay over these events which happened only a few short decades ago. WingSpan Press deserves kudos for printing it—but this book should have been published by a major press. (Any university press in Florida, for example would have been enhanced and honored by printing it.) It is my hope that in the future, historians will look to this excellent little book to get the inside story of what really happened at a sit-in at a white lunchroom in Jacksonville in 1960. What lead to it—and what followed. There is history to be ashamed of here—but also heroes to be proud of. This is a book that every American who cares about truth and history should read and appreciate.
Read more of this Review…

 

Rod Clark
bookreview.com

 


Roundtable Reviews
WingSpan Press
ISBN: 1595941959January 2008This record of the events leading up to that brutal time should be required reading for all young people, especially those who may have forgotten the efforts that were made and the sacrifices were suffered in the name of gaining the right to drink from any water fountain you choose, ride on public transportation wherever you might like to sit and to eat in any restaurant. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT A HOT DOG AND A COKE joins the cannon of growing knowledge and wisdom gained from the Civil Rights movement. 
Read More of this Review…
Randy O'Brien for
Roundtable Reviews

 


It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!
Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.
WingSpan Press (2008)
ISBN 9781595941954"It was (n)ever about a hot dog and a Coke!" is a look at the events by someone who truly lived and breathed them. It is a first-hand look at the civil rights movement of that era that has not become misconstrued by going through numerous sources. Throughout the book are numerous pictures of the people involved and also some of the few pictures of the events that took place. One of the pictures included is a disturbing one taken on "Ax Handle Saturday" which features an innocent bystander splattered in blood from being attacked. These pictures give you a true sense of just how horrific the events were that took place.I lived in Jacksonville for a short period of time so the references to certain streets were familiar to me but most of the history of the black community in that area was not at all. I feel like I learned a lot by reading Hurst's book, "It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!," and I think it would be a wonderful addition to the required reading list of any history class or to anyone who wants to educate themselves of the events that occurred in America's past.
Read More of this Review…
Kam Aures 
Rebecca Reads

 


Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.
WingSpan Press (2008)
ISBN 9781595941954
(4/08)With all the adventure of a war novel, the book takes you to all the places history was made. It takes you to the front lines, the battles and the victories of the marches and the sit-ins. With such good attention to actual events and the truth of what took place, this book makes you one with the protestors. You become a part of the movement and feel what they were feeling.I enjoyed “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke” and thought it was well-written and very nicely presented. The quality of the print, the front and back cover art and the reprints of historic pictures; all made for an interesting read. This historic 191-page book is a fast and informative read and I gave it my well-deserved A, and recommend it to the general audience.
Read More of this Review…
William Phenn 
Reader Views

 


Rated: Thumbs Way Up!This book is awesome and eye opening. This is a book for everyone, regardless of race, religion or creed should read. I hope teachers everywhere will consider this book as part of curriculum in American History classes. I also hope it can be a tool to opening people's eyes to the damage stupidity and ignorance can bring. Bless Mr. Hurst for this non-media biased peek into the events of that era in our history.
Read More of this Review…
Sabrina Sumshion
Sabrina Book Reviews

 


Genre: Non-Fiction
Title: It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!Author: Rodney L. Hurst Sr.
The title, “It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!” was enough to make me want to read this book. I had to know more. Although this is a book about the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s in Jacksonville, there is much more to this story; as seen through the eyes of a person that was there and witnessed Ax Handle Saturday. As a reader, you’ll get a perspective of truth about living in that era from one who did. There are numerous historical characters in this book; some many may not have heard of. You will find them interesting.
Mr. Hurst was born in Jacksonville, Florida; in 1944. He lived through the time of segregation and activists; being recognized as an activist, and member of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. Mr. Hurst later became president of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. He has been married to his wife Ann for forty-one years. They have two sons, and two granddaughters.
I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the civil rights movement and segregation in the southern states.
Available from publisher: www.wingspanpress.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com
Title: It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!
Author: Rodney L. Hurst Sr.
Publisher: WingSpan Press
ISBN: 978-1-59594-195-4
Pages: 191
Price: $14.95
April 15, 2008
Bob Medak
Allbooks Review

 


Saturday, April 05, 2008
IT WAS NEVER ABOUT A HOT DOG AND A COKE by Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.A personal account of the 1960 sit-in demonstrations in
Jacksonville, Florida and Ax Handle Saturday.
By Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.
WingSpan Publishing
PO Box 2085, Livermore, CA 94551
www.wingspanpress.com
Genre: Historical memoir
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9781595941954, $14.95, 204 pp.This informative memoir is about a dangerous time. The events are a part of our history, and through Rodney’s story we learn more about the people and groups involved and the courage it took to sit. The book is well-written and well-edited. Thanks, Rodney, for taking the time.
Read More of this Review…
Kaye Trout
Midwest Book Review

 


I am writing this review in the month of April during the week of the fortieth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and nearly three weeks after Barack Obama’s speech on race in America. As I read about the sit-ins and the responses of some white citizens in Jacksonville (Hurst makes a point of highlighting whites who were supportive of the Youth Council’s efforts), I frequently turned away from the book. The images the narrative conjures up were disturbing. As an African American woman, I have grown-up seeing the type of images Hurst describes. But as a mother with a son who is now only a year younger than Hurst was when he was leading this group of young people, I am disgusted by the cowardice that drove a mob of so-called adults to attack children. Reading this book while absorbing the significance of the aforementioned events left me raw and also proud. Proud that Hurst was courageous enough to participate in the Civil Rights Movement and proud that he continues to serve the cause over forty years later.“When we started sit-in demonstrations, we wanted everyone to know eating a hot dog and drinking a Coke would not be our focus. Human dignity and respect would be our fundamental focus… (55).”

It Was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke is a dramatic, effective account of demonstrations that contributed to the shaping of civil rights for African Americans in the United States. The author’s offering of historical detail is a gift that should be shared with the young and the old as proof that individuals can permanently alter oppressive systems that ultimately affect us all.
Read More of this Review…

 

Melissa B. Levine
Independent Book Reviewer

 


Having been one of those who had sneak previews of It Was Never About a Hotdog and a Coke for the past year, I assumed when I got my copy, there was nothing new for me to read.
I was wrong! I picked up the book to read during a workshop lunch break one day recently, and could not put it down. In fact, I completed the book the next day.
Even though I have known Rodney all of my life (and a good part of his), and lived through many of his experiences, the book showed me his passion. It was obviously his destiny to write this book.
You will find my name a few times in It Was Never About a Hotdog and a Coke; and by the way, I did eventually learn how to spell.
Joan Whitlock
(sister)

 


An outstanding book. It is amazing that there is so little documentation about such an important part of Jacksonville's history. Thank you Mr. Hurst.
Robert Robinson
 

 


A great book!
John Anthony

 

 


On Aug. 27,1960, I had just turned 11 years old and was enjoying my last easy summer days before the start of school. And while I was old enough to be aware of what happened on that day, I certainly did not know the details. Mr. Hurst has given us 'the rest of the story' and now we know.
He takes us back in time to a very different Jacksonville as he describes the educational, political, and social climate of the day; the role of the NAACP Youth Council; the events of that awful day and the aftermath. And most of all, he gives us Rutledge Pearson, who has become one of my heroes. There have been many other accounts of this day. But none can compare with this account, written by one of those brave young men who had to run for his life. We are forever grateful to him.
Sharibee
 

 


This book offers one of the most accurate accounts of the sit-in activities in Jacksonville, FL during the early 1960's. Very interesting reading and the pictures further validate the author's account. Would recommend that this book becomes an integral part of telling the Jacksonville story.
Mizzanne
 

 


"History has not been kind to those who forget or ignore their own history or rely on others to portray that history. Mr. Hurst has authored a gripping and informative narrative of the people and events that forged the civil rights movement in Jacksonville, Florida."
Justice Leander Shaw
Florida State Supreme Court