Remembering Leon County's Lynching Victims

Jan 14, 2019

An ongoing tribute to Leon County's lynching victims was discussed at Tallahassee's Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Byron Greene with St. Michael and All Angels Parish speaks to the Remembrance Project group at Saturday's meeting.
Credit Tom Flanigan

Kiara Boone with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama told the packed church hall that at least 4 African-Americans were lynched in Leon County between the late 1800s and 1950.

"Those are the documented lynching victims," she said. "Those are the narratives we've been able to uncover."

Unofficially, she said, there could me many more. Florida A&M Historian Darius Young said the state's Capital Region wasn't unique in this regard.

"Florida led the nation in lynchings per capita," he said. "Meaning that there weren't as many black people in the state of Florida than there were in places like Mississippi or Alabama, but they were being lynched at a higher rate."

Saturday's meeting was to plan memorials, both physical and conversational, to the victims of lynching. Nearly 20 local faith communities are part of the effort, including First Presbyterian Church pastored by Brant Copeland.

"This is a matter of humanity and justice," he observed. "I think we can all work together on this project."

The group plans more meetings to firm up the project details.