Tag Archives: In Memory of our Women of the Southland

2020 Protests Continue (Confessions, Consciousness, Change)

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For more than a week, the protests have flooded the streets, demanding police release body cam footage. This crowd does me good. In my depths, stories from decades before I was born churn a historical conscience. The Confederate monument has again been vandalized. I ask Donal Godfrey, whose house the KKK bombed when he was six years old, if this time really is different. 

Jefferson Davis Junior High School

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My father and I were the only white people on the basketball court. He was 40 years older, at least, than everybody else. I’m writing this story on his 96th. He died six months ago tomorrow. 

Of what beloved Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick thought of designing new schools with the names of Confederate leaders, there’s no record. The only black faces in 1960s Jeff Davis yearbooks are those of the custodial staff. And the school principal, Wilber C. Johnson, standing beside a Confederate flag and wearing blackface.

“We will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree. / We will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree. / We will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree, / As we march along!”