Education Secretary Comes to Florida and Steps In It

  On May 10, Betsy DeVos and I went to the graduation ceremony at Bethune Cookman University, a historically black college in Daytona Beach, Fla. Betsy got up on stage to give her speech and was immediately, loudly booed by the entire audience. Graduating students and their families stood up and turned their backs to […]

Bombings Rock Miami Part 2

“White residents detonated a second batch of dynamite on November 30, [1951]. This one generated an explosion strong enough to toss hunks of concrete debris over 50 yards from the initial blast site, causing $22,000 in damage. Miraculously, no one had been killed in either the September or November attack. Local people nevertheless understood the […]

Bombings Rock Miami Part 1

“As a final form of community activism, a small cadre of Edison residents deployed more familiar means of expressing white power. They organized night riders around Carver Village, shouting warnings and epithets from moving cars in an attempt to expel black residents through intimidation. Then, in the predawn hours of September 22, [1951], whites with […]

Florida’s Black Women Take the Lead in Voter Registration

“When African American women became eligible to vote, the Florida voter registration movement gained new life. To say African American women played a momentous role in the movement would be an understatement. From the time that four black women in Gainesville registered to vote on September 1, 1920, to the day of the election, black […]

Where Is Douglas C. Lyons Going with The ‘Florida Historic Marker Tour’?

Oh man! The season of warm weather is coming to an end, and so is the summer “Florida Historic Marker Tour” is coming up. Join us here at on Thursday, August 24th for our sixth and final stop at a black historic destination. We hope you enjoyed the tour and actually¬†learned something. — Douglas […]

Avery Act Overturned in Brief Victory for Blacks August 1

    The general sentiment at the time was aptly summed up in the Pensacola Journal, located in one of the cities where blacks boycotted city streetcars in protest to the ¬†Avery Act. “Speaking not only from my own investigations but from the opinions of various leading members of the state bar, I am convinced […]

Jim Crow and Public Housing in Miami

“As evidence of their success, the state of Florida received over $76 million in monies earmarked for welfare between January of 1949 and June of 1951. Not a dime of it went toward filling the nonmilitary public housing vacuum. In fact, thanks to white homeowner intransigence about the location of public housing sites, and landlord […]

The Sky’s the Limit for U.S. Air Force’s Daniel ‘Chappie’ James Jr.

  “[Daniel] Chappie James made rapid progress in rank and status after Korea; he became a major in 1952 and a lieutenant colonel in 1956. Of the six black fighter pilots who would become generals by the time of James’ death in 1978 only Benjamin O. Davis Jr., had moved up more rapidly, in part […]