The Groveland Four: White lies led to Black deaths in Jim Crow Florida

Absolutely well-timed, well-written and extremely moving. Chuck, thank you and to the families of the falsely accused: No words can adequately share how we feel. Thank you, also to the newly elected Florida gov. To the still-lying woman: God bless you!

Hobbservation Point

A ghost from Florida’s segregated past was exorcised yesterday when newly elected Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida elected Cabinet voted unanimously to pardon the Groveland Four nearly 70 years after they were falsely accused and convicted of rape.

The Groveland Four’s case started out none too dissimilar from thousands of others that led to lynching or indefinite incarceration of Black men, women and children during the nearly 80 year period of lawlessness and white vigilantism known as Jim Crow.

On July 16, 1949, Anna Padgett, a 17-year old white woman, and her husband Willie, 22, claimed that they were attacked by four young Black men on a country road in the town of Tavares, which is in Lake County near Orlando.

florida-governor-ron-desantis-posthumously-pardons-four-black-men-in-1949-rape-case-4(Willie and Anna Padgett circa 1949)

Local law enforcement rounded up four suspects: Ernest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, age 16; Samuel Shepherd, age 22, and Walter Irvin, age 22…

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About awkimbrough

I'm fortunate to lead digital native students as they gain more experience and confidence in their naturally creative work. For those who want to read a traditional "About Me" here it is: I am a visiting faculty member @my grad school, Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications. Previously, I served as dean and professor of multimedia, innovative journalism in the Journalism & Graphic Design School at Florida A&M University. As an award-winning journalist and higher ed executive, my latest high profile project involves the multi-faceted development of a 'teaching hospital' formed via a public-private partnership and located on the FAMU campus. The public-private partnership's outcome is a multi-million-dollar, annual economic benefit to the north Florida region with direct benefits to communication students enrolled in programs at FAMU. FAMU's administration and board canceled the project. It has been a rewarding career where I have been transforming lives in education, government, and media for more 25 years. Also, as a ghost and co-writer of literary works that highlight the careers and lives of accomplished world shapers I am achieving a valued use of my talents and skills.
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