Tuesday, November 3, 2020

On this day 100 years ago, a White mob unleashed the deadliest Election Day violence in US history

A historical marker was unveiled on June 21, 2019, in Orlando, Florida, nearly 100 years after July Perry was lynched by a white mob after a friend tried to vote.

Harmeet Kaur, CNN

(CNN) - It's been 100 years since the Ocoee Massacre, a dark and often overlooked chapter in American history.

On November 2, 1920, African American residents of Ocoee, Florida, went out to cast their ballots in the presidential election -- no small task at the time.

In the decades since Reconstruction, Florida politics had been dominated by White Southern Democrats, who fought to preserve slavery in the 1850s and had since obstructed African Americans from exercising their constitutional rights through violence, intimidation and legislation.

But in the run-up to the 1920 election, Black people in Ocoee were registering to vote in droves -- a reality that threatened the grip of white supremacy, wrote Paul Ortiz, a history professor at the University of Florida, in a 2010 essay.

"State and local officials -- along with the Ku Klux Klan -- understood that white supremacy was in trouble," Ortiz wrote. "They responded mercilessly."  Read more >>