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Groveland Four Apology Gaining Ground

Gary Corsair via change.org

A formal apology for the Groveland Four is gaining momentum in the Florida capitol. State lawmakers want to acknowledge the mistreatment of four black men who were denied fair trials.

In 1949, four black men were wrongfully accused of raping a white woman. Law enforcement beat the men and forced them to confess. Ultimately two died at the hands of officers. Representative Bobby DuBose, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, says it’s time to exonerate the Groveland Four and officially apologize.

“Although we can’t change the past, we can correct and change the future. And this means so much more to this family than I can express,” DuBose said. “Families who during this time had their homes burned down. Families with children who grew up not knowing their fathers, but only knowing their records. This resolution is us simply saying we’re sorry.”

The measure is now moving in both chambers. That implies the apology is gaining support and could have a way forward this session.

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.