Tag Archives: James Weldon Johnson

Republication National Convention in Jacksonville

El Modelo, Part II

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Part Two of the three-part series on El Modelo Cigar Factory features the Dying Declaration of Marie Louise Gato, her possible romantic entanglements with  young Cuban revolutionaries, and the “Jacksonville Junta,” who organized both clandestinely and not so secretly for the war in Havana.

El Modelo: Sensational Murder Trials, Cuban Revolutionaries

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At El Modelo Cigar Factory, Cuban revolutionaries fomented insurrection. Marie Gato, daughter of El Modelo’s owner, died, bullets to her breast, subject of Jacksonville’s most sensational trial of the 19th century. El Modelo still stands. A practitioner of the law firm that calls the building home claims to have seen Marie’s ghost. Either way, this building’s story shifted history. Click below for the first story in a three-part series.

New Story: Hemming Park: Race and Brutality in the Genius Loci

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Friday night, April 7, 2017. Several Jacksonville police officers hold 155 lb Connell Crooms, an unarmed black man, down on the ground in Hemming Park, while Officer B.D. (Benjamin Daniel) McEwan crouches over Crooms and punches him repeatedly.

Astonishingly. Perhaps impudently. Probably just ignorantly. Which is no excuse. The root of “ignorance” is “ignore.” Sheriff Mike Williams begins his April 10th statement about the Hemming Park beatings and arrests with the word “Historically.”

New Story: Museum of Southern History

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If this “history” isn’t revisionist, it’s hard to imagine what is, and it’s full of a strange loser’s condescension: anyone who does not know these fictional facts is ignorant of history.

photo by Junah Hanuj

photo by Junah Hanuj

I let myself imagine a time when the South finally leaves the Confederacy behind and allows itself to surge free into a beautiful future.