THE OCOEE MASSACRE OF 1920
In June 2020, Governor Ron Desantis signed House Bill 1213 Educational of Historical Events, which in part, requires The Florida Commissioner of Education's African American History Task Force to examine ways to include the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots in the required instruction on African American history.
Via this webpage, the African American History Task Force will provide districts, schools and educators with best practices, unit plans, lesson plans, and any other standards based activities that may be used for the teaching and learning of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots.
Ocoee is a small town outside of Orlando, Florida where blacks were murdered, their homes and businesses were burned down. All because they dared to vote.
Please stay tuned to this webpage for information that will assist you in meeting this mandate to embed this critical moment in our nation's history into your curriculum. See more below about The Ocoee Massacre.
The deadliest day in American politics. A race-based massacre held from the history books. The story told by descendants 100 years later. Pain, death, survival as Blacks are forced from their homes and the push to recognize all that was lost. This is The Ocoee Massacre.
The Massacre was a white mob attack on
African-American residents in Ocoee, Florida, which occurred on November 2, 1920, the day of the U.S. presidential election. The town is in Orange County near Orlando. Most estimates total 30–35 black people were killed. Most African American-owned buildings and residences in northern Ocoee were burned to the ground. Other African Americans living in southern Ocoee were later killed or driven out on threat of more violence. Ocoee essentially became an all-white town. The massacre has been described as the "single bloodiest day in modern American political history."
The attack started after efforts to suppress black citizens from voting. In Ocoee and across the state, various black organizations had been conducting voter registration drives for a year. Black people had essentially been disfranchised in Florida since the beginning of the 20th century. Mose Norman, a prosperous
African-American farmer, tried to vote but was turned away twice on Election Day. Norman was among those working on the voter drive. A white mob surrounded the home of Julius "July" Perry, where Norman was thought to have taken refuge. After Perry drove away the white mob with gunshots, killing two men and wounding one who tried to break into his house, the mob called for reinforcements from Orlando and Orange County. The whites laid waste to the African-American community in northern Ocoee and eventually killed Perry. They took his body to Orlando and hanged it from a lightpost to intimidate other black people. Norman escaped, never to be found. Hundreds of other African Americans fled the town, leaving behind their homes and possessions.
A bill introduced by Democratic state Sen. Randolph Bracy would split $10 million among descendants of victims of the Ocoee Massacre.