Jacksonville Community Remembrance
Project :

Remembering the legacy of racial terror lynchings in Jacksonville

Jacksonville's racial terror lynchings were part of an epidemic of lynchings that took place across 20 states between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and 1950.

“A history of racial injustice must be acknowledged, and mass atrocities and abuse must be recognized and remembered, before a society can recover from mass violence. Public commemoration plays a significant role in prompting community-wide reconciliation.”
- Equal Justice Initiative

Soil Collection Ceremonies

Willie Washington

Eugene Burnam

Bowman Cook & John Morine

Benjamin Hart

Unknown Man

COMMUNITY INTERVIEWS ​

Community Interviews Conducted As Part Of The
Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project

Sollie Mitchell (b. June 20, 1918; Oscilla, GA)

was a Pullman porter who moved to Jacksonville as a child, partly as a result of his family fleeing from the consequences of racial terror in Georgia. When his mother passed away, a white family took him in and raised him, to whom Mr. Mitchell owes a lifelong debt of gratitude. His most treasured accomplishments are his many years serving as the second-highest active member of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Florida.

Recorded July 3, 2019

Isaac Carnes (b. Nov. 21, 1941; Jacksonville)

was an insurance investigator and a former member of the youth branch of the NAACP. He recalls the days when Jacksonville was racially segregated and when the black community was also segregated by class. He is a witness to the events of Axe Handle Saturday and says that it was not until he left Jacksonville that he could see the possibility of equality for black people.

Recorded July 1, 2019

Bryant Rollins (b. December 13, 1937; Boston, MA)

has dedicated most of his adult life to fighting for racial justice and civil rights. Originally from Boston, Mr. Rollins moved to Jacksonville for work. After he arrived, he realized that relatives of his from Florida had quite a remarkable civil-rights history as well. In fact, Mr. Rollins found himself working in the very building where one of his ancestors risked his life in the name of racial justice.

Recorded July 6, 2019

Lloyd Pearson (b. Nov. 2, 1921; Jacksonville)

worked for 30 years for the NAACP registering people to vote, registering thousands in Jacksonville. He was also the brother of local civil-right activist Rutledge Pearson, who helped organize the youth branch of the NAACP. Mr. Pearson lived in and saw the growth of the development of the black neighborhood of Rosedale, which originally was not a part of the city of Jacksonville. Mr. Pearson signed his name to the power bill and collected money so that his neighborhood could have power.

Recorded June 19, 2019

About the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project:

A crucial component of reducing barriers to opportunity is a better understanding of our community’s history, even — or perhaps especially — when it is harrowing. That is why 904WARD is partnering with the Equal Justice Initiative on the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project ("JCRP") to remember the legacy of racial terror lynchings in our city. With a stronger understanding of the legacy of racial terror lynchings on our community, we believe Jacksonville will be better equipped to understand and reduce barriers to opportunity for all citizens.

About the Equal Justice Initiative:

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) conducted research identifying more than 4,400 African-American men, women, and children who were killed in racial terror lynchings in its report Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror. This effort informed the creation of The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, as well as historical markers in local communities where racial terror lynchings took place. These lynchings were not about the guilt or innocence of the person murdered. They were a tool of racial control, intended to instill fear in black communities and suppress their civil rights.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

If you want to volunteer to assist in the project, or or if you believe you may be a descendant of lynching victims, please contact us at JCRP@904WARD.org.