Inspired by the Equal Justice Initiative's community remembrance project we aim to help facilitate our region's part of the journey - the work of telling the truth, facing our past and fostering racial reconciliation.
Acknowledging the shadow of our racial past, liberating our communities to heal.
We aim to facilitate a new era of race relations from the ground up - through research, educational forums, exhibitions, historical markers and commemorative soil collections. We believe when we own and share the truth of our history of racial injustice, our community will recognize, remember and repair the harm for generations to come.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Ocoee massacre, it's time.
We are a group of Central Florida community members and we have been meeting monthly since 2016 in Winter Park's African-American Heritage Center. This year we hosted a community conversation on the meaning of these lynchings and the legacy of white supremacy in Central Florida. In partnership with Valencia's Peace and Justice Institute , with a Florida Humanities Council $5000 grant and participation from local groups (Democracy Forum, Bridging The Gap Coalition, Hannibal Square Heritage Center, City of Ocoee's Human Relations Diversity Board,) we screened the film "Ocoee: Legacy of a Massacre" eight times, inspiring over 700 Central Floridians to learn more and do more.
Our Short-Term Goals Are...
Host A Community Visioning (DONE - Success!)
On July 11th (2018) at Valencia's west campus, we hosted a powerful 3-hour dinner event, with music (live African drumming) and a guided community dialog in which sectors of our community (clergy, legal, education, media, tech, etc.) clustered in open-space style dialog, resulting in over 100 personal commitments to action moving forward.
Place Historic Markers - Coming SOON! (July Perry marker slated for June 2019)
We will gather at the lynching sites in Ocoee and Orlando and we will host two major public marker unveiling events.
Unveiling ceremonies are transformative. We will have relatives of lynching victims present and participating in the program. Your funds help us offset these costs to support these families' attendance.
The marker placements will also provide a platform to recognize Orlando area civil rights movement veterans and other local unsung heroes who have displayed selfless courage and creativity in their willingness to stand for human rights. Local artists, children’s choirs, and musicians will be in the program.
• Impact of racial terror lynchings on our area
In Orange County alone:
30+ Unnamed Victims from the Ocoee Massacre
Date of Lynchings:
November 2 and 3, 1920
Ocoee; over the course of two days, in response to the attempt of an African American named Mose Norman who tried to assert his voting rights, white mobs burned 25 black homes, two black churches, and one black lodge. The mob also attempted to lynch those African American residents who had helped Norman resist the denial of his access to the polling station. An estimated 30+ African Americans died as a result of these fires.
Date of Lynching:
November 3, 1920
Downtown Orlando - After being dragged from our county jail and paraded through Parramore, Mr. Perry was hanged from a tree near present day Lake Concord.
Date of Lynching:
November 27, 1925
Near Orange County General Hospital (present day location of Orlando Health); Mr. Henry was forcibly removed from the hospital and found dead 12 days later.
In our surrounding counties:
Brevard County, 1 victim of lynching
Lake County, 3 victims
Osceola County, 1 victim (Oscar Mack)
Polk County, 20 victims
Seminole County, 2 victims
Volusia County, 4 victims
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