With the start of Black History Month, memories stir of the Civil Rights Movement and Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, and Memphis. Fewer people think of St. Augustine, Fla., in this context.

Clennon King, a Boston-based filmmaker whose attorney father worked with Dr. Martin Luther King on a desgregration campaign in Albany, Ga., intends to change that with his documentary Passage at St. Augustine. The hourlong film spotlights the civil rights campaigns that took place in the north Florida city, known best as the first European settlement in the Americas.

A screening of Mr. King’s film takes place Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Howes House in West Tisbury. A question-and-answer session will follow. The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters as part of Black History Month .

Filmmaker Clennon King: Esther Burgess, arrested following sit-in. "really stepped up to the plate" during St. Augustine Civil Rights campaign.

“It’s the oldest city in the country, and I knew that there was a civil rights movement there, but nobody ever talks about it,” Mr. King said in a telephone conversation Monday. He first learned of the movement after reading Taylor Branch’s three-part biography of Dr. King. His interest in St. Augustine was piqued once more after he researched a segment on the movement during his time as a broadcast reporter in Jacksonville.

The St. Augustine campaigns were instrumental in securing the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which had been stalled in the Senate after its introduction in 1963.

“The Senate fought it tooth and nail,” Mr. King said. “It was one of the longest filibusters in the history of this country. They needed another battlefield.” In the spring of 1964, students from northern colleges came to St. Augustine to help with the campaign. Four Bostonians, including Vineyarder Esther Burgess, whose husband was at the time one of the few black Episcopal bishops in the country, also went to Florida. Mrs. Burgess was arrested while trying to integrate a St. Augustine motel — along with another of the Boston women, Mary Peabody. The event was front-page news because Mrs. Peabody was both 72 years old and the mother of Massachusetts Gov. Endicott Peabody. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law in June.

“It’s not unusual for a journalist to find a story that they want to do an expanded piece on,” Mr. King said. “For me, that was St. Augustine.” He just didn’t know at the time how expanded the piece would become: the film has been some 14 years in the making. The documentary features more than 40 voices, and many of the subjects, including Mrs. Burgess, who Mr. King first interviewed in 2003, have since died. Subjects include not only the civil rights activists but also segregationists, Klansmen, the former mayor of St. Augustine, and the New York Times reporter who covered the campaign.

Saturday’s event is the first screening of the film — only Mr. King’s girlfriend and the movie’s historical consultant have seen the final product. The decision to show it on the Vineyard wasn’t arbitrary, Mr. King said. He wanted to screen it here to honor Mrs. Burgess, whose leadership was instrumental in the campaign.

“She really stepped up to the plate,” Mr. King said.

“My sensibility is that unless we mark history we’re destined to repeat it,” he said. “And I think somehow there’s a message in this history that’s applicable to this generation that wasn’t even alive, and a reminder to us who were alive about what leadership really looks like.”

“It was more of a moral rights campaign, about doing the right thing.”