Celebrating the Anniversary of Florida’s Formal Apology to The Groveland Boys Case

 

By Douglas C. Lyons

State Flag of Florida

It came almost seven decades too late.

A year ago today, Florida lawmakers issued a formal apology to the descendants of The Groveland Boys, four young black men who were falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1949. The arrests, forced confessions, their abusive treatment as prisoners — three died at the hands of the police — and subsequent trial garnered national attention and brought shame to Lake County, Florida, particularly its then-sheriff Willis V. McCall. As the saying goes, “Better late …”

The formal apology is a good thing for the state of Florida. It helps ease the wounds of a racist past and also recognizes a history that often passes unnoticed.

Douglas C. Lyons is the founder of www.blackinfla.

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