After year’s of attempting to get her father inducted into the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Last week Camilla Thompson witnessed the ceremony in Tallahassee on the grounds of Florida State University. Daniel Webster Perkins was one of three new inductees honoring Floridians who have made significant contributions to the state as leaders in the struggle for equality and justice. The ceremony honors their sacrifices through speeches and musical tributes. The three selected honorees will be joining twenty-one other inductees into the Hall.
“My father was very active in the community through his civic and social activities,” said Thompson. “He especially enjoyed mentoring young people and helping them prepare for the challenges in their respective fields. The Perkins family is proud and excited to see him receive the recognition he deserves.”
Other inductees include Henry James Thomas, civil rights activist and entrepreneur and Dr. Charles Ullman Smith of Tallahassee, a noted sociologist, civil rights leader and FAMU Faculty member;
Daniel Webster Perkins, “The Colonel” as he would be affectionately called, settled in Jacksonville after graduating from North Carolina State College, Temple University and Shaw University School of Law. He became one of Florida’s first African American attorneys, after officially passing the Florida Bar in 1914. He successfully argued before the Florida Supreme Court against legislation designed to prevent African American lawyers from practicing in the state and argued against all white juries for the integration of juries across the state. He served as state chairman of the WPA Advisory Educational Council and secretary of the state NYA Advisory Council. In 1968, the former Colored Lawyers Association changed its name to the Daniel Webster Perkins Bar Association in honor of Perkins, who was a founding member.
Hall members were selected by Governor Ron DeSantis from a group of ten nominees selected by the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
Shown at the installation are the relatives of the late Attorney Perkins (L-R) Daughter Camilla Thompson, grandson Reginald Thompson, nephew Paul Perkins, Jr. and wife Andrea Perkins.