Monday, April 26, 2021

Sarasota Judge Williams Refutes Newtown Residents Outrage at Marker to Recognize Lynchings, 331 Black Men Were Lynched in Florida

Sarasota Judge Williams Refutes Newtown Residents Outrage at Marker to Recognize Lynchings as 331 Black Men Were Lynched in Florida. Newspapers of the times trivialized the barbaric lynching of black men in Bradenton and Haines City Fl. The Tampa Times in 1913 called murdered Sam White aka Joe Bell a "Lustful Negro" after a mob of white men shot him to pieces and then hung his body in Haines City Fl. The Orlando Evening Star in 1912 wrote that negro Willie English was shot to death and hung in Bradenton Fl as a "warning to others of his kind" for propositioning a young white girl.  April 25, 2021 Sarasota Judge Williams writes in Herald Tribune: As part of a coalition of supporters involved in attempting to recognize the lives and legacies of lynching victims in this area – murdered individuals whose names remain largely forgotten and whose stories remain largely untold – I read with dismay a Sarasota Herald-Tribune story featuring quotes from some Newtown residents who spoke during a recent city commission meeting, scores of Newtown residents urged city leaders to block the project. First, some technical corrections are necessary: There is no “lynching museum” being proposed for Newtown. There is no “lynching sculpture” being contemplated portraying lynching victims. What is being proposed is a simple marker that recognizes the fact that there were lynchings in this area – and provides the names and circumstances of the victims. The comments by the citizens of Newtown who spoke against a memorial reveal the very reasons why it is so important to preserve and understand the history of lynching in America.

Reuben Stacy, a 37-year-old black man, hangs from a tree on Old Davie Road in Fort Lauderdale, blood trickling down his body and dripping off his toes. Behind him, a white girl, about 7 years old, looks on, a strange smile on her face as she takes in the sight of the "strange fruit" her elders had just created that hot day in July 1935. Stacy was accused of attempting to assault a white woman in her home after first asking for a glass of water. According to a 1993 telling of the story, he was arrested three days later 25 miles from the scene. But no trial was ever conducted, and mere hours after his arrest, Stacy was hanged and shot. The infamous photograph of Stacy's death might be one of the few visual accounts of a lynching in Florida, but a new report from the Equal Justice Initiative about lynching across the American South reminds us that the Sunshine State was among the most brutal in the country when it come to race-fueled executions of black people. Per capita, Floridians lynched at a higher rate than any other state. 

Between 1877 and 1950, the report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, counts 3,959 examples of "racial terror lynchings," which EJI describes as violent, public acts of torture that were tolerated by public officials and designed to intimidate black victims. Of the 12 states analyzed, Florida ranked fifth, with 331 terror lynchings within its borders. Per capita, however, Florida ranks first, with 0.594 lynchings for every 100,000 residents. Of the 25 counties across the South with the most lynchings, Florida has six: Orange (34), Marion (30), Alachua (19), Polk (19), Columbia (17), and Taylor (17). "Many people are under the wrong impression that the majority of lynchings were black males assaulting white females, but most were because black men and women were accused of stealing," University of Florida professor Jack Davis, who has written about Florida lynchings, tells New Times. Davis adds that other historical accounts back up Florida's reputation as a lynching capital.

Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota 941-926-1926 - Cheaters and Child Custody Cases at

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