Sunday, April 24, 2022

A Response to Restrictions on Teaching About Racism in Florida Schools

I just thought of one possible response to the legislation and executive orders restricting what can be taught about race in US History in Florida schools What if a group of teachers, students and civil rights leaders came together to produce a document which listed every single lynching that took place in the state of Florida, with dates and locations, along with attacks on black communities and assassinations of black leaders? In the latter category, there will be incidents like the widely publicized Rosewood Massacre (1923) where a prosperous black town was destroyed by jealous whites. But it is my guess that Rosewood was just the tip of the iceberg, and that if you go back to Reconstruction you will find multiple examples of mass murders of blacks who were deemed too wealthy or politically powerful This document, circulating on the internet, will prompt widespread public discussion of a portion of Florida history that has been kept hidden, and apparently can’t be a focus of instruction in Florida schools Florida friends, what do you think? There are scholars and community leaders who can help you get this information! Why not put it all in one place where it can prompt discussion and show that uncomfortable truth about Florida history cannot be suppressed *The Rosewood massacre was a racially motivated massacre of black people and the destruction of a black town that took place during the first week of January 1923 in rural Levy County, Florida. At least six black people and two white people were killed, though eyewitness accounts suggested a higher death toll of 27 to 150. The town of Rosewood was destroyed in what contemporary news reports characterized as a race riot. Florida had an especially high number of lynchings of black men in the years before the massacre,] including a well-publicized incident in December 1922.

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