1920
History
Home Ocoee The
Film
2001
Reconciliation
Bianca
White
Sandra
Krasa
The
Sources

[KKK

The History continued...

Judge Cheney receives threatening letters from the Ku Klux Klan and tension in the town of Ocoee mounts as Election day approaches.
(Courtesy of the Orange County Regional History Center)

On November 2nd, 1920, Norman and Perry go to the Ocoee polls to cast their votes. Though Norman had paid his poll tax, he does not see his name on the register, he and Perry are turned away and told not to come back. Mose Norman insists that he be allowed to vote, he is refused again, and he reluctantly leaves. Through the clouded vision of Ocoee's past, some facts remain certain. Mose Norman returns to the polls later that evening with a shot gun. An altercation ensues, and Mose Norman is pistol whipped and sent away a second time. Mose Norman is never heard from again.


[Ocoee

Word spreads rapidly of the altercation at the polls and later that evening word of a race riot has spread as far away as Georgia. The events that ensue are treacherous. Colonel Sam Salisbury, a white civic leader in the town is called upon to lead a lynch mob to find and punish Mose Norman and July Perry for attempting to vote.

By nightfall, over 250 Klansmen from around the state of Florida and white Ocoee residents have collected inside the town and begin a burning spree in the Black section of town. The Black citizens flee for their lives into the orange groves, swamps and neighboring towns. However, many are burned in their homes or shot as they flee the infernos. In the aftermath, twenty-five homes, two churches, and a masonic lodge are incinerated; and the death toll is said to be above fifty. On the morning of November 3rd, July Perry's body is found hanging from a light pole. Nearly a week goes by as 250 deputized Klansmen hold the city, not allowing people to enter or exit, without special permission. The land that was fled by the black citizens was divied up and sold for $1.50 an acre. Blacks would not inhabit the city until sixty-one years later in 1981.


1920
History
Home Ocoee The
Film
2001
Reconciliation
Bianca
White
Sandra
Krasa
The
Sources


Created by Bianca M. White
Questions or Comments: E-mail me
Copyright November 2001, Bianca M. White