As the sponsor of the 1920 Ocoee Massacre bills, State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) is proud to announce that both SB 1262 and SB 1264 passed favorably during their first hearing in the Judiciary Committee earlier today.
The notorious Election Day incident began when a prominent black landowner, Julius “July” Perry, was lynched for attempting to exercise his right to vote. Ocoee’s African American population was forced to abandon their homes and property, or risk a fate similar to July Perry’s at the hands of a deputized mob and local government officials. According to census records, hundreds of black residents fled as a result of the incident, and an estimated fifty black residents were murdered during the Election Day riot.
The legislation not only creates a Descendant Compensation Program but also directs the State to explore ways for the Ocoee incident to be taught in schools, incorporated into museums, and in the naming of State parks to recognize victims of the violence.
Senator Bracy has relentlessly shone a light on this dark part of history and noted: “Given that 2020 will mark the centennial of this horrific tragedy, I believe it is an appropriate time for our legislature to offer healing and closure to the individuals impacted by this painful legacy”. The legislation now awaits its next hearing in the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice.