Tag Archives: Ku Klux Klan

Black Masonic Temple

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What these walls have seen! Architects Mark and Sheftall began their own firm in 1912 and with a commission for the grandest building in black Jacksonville. The Black Masonic Temple formed the brick foundation of the black community.

Princess Laura Adorkor Kofi preached her “back to Africa” message here in the 1920s. Future Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Leander Shaw had his offices here in the 1960s. And the tunnels beneath Broad Street would offer protection if Florida’s massacres of black communities at Ocoee, Perry, and Rosewood should spread to Jacksonville. 

Stories of Pine Forest: Incinerators, Klan Crosses, Family Love and Mulberry Trees

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The Ku Klux Klan burnt a cross in front of her family’s little woodframe house.

The Clydo Road incinerator burnt as much as 120 tons of trash every day. Donna recalls the black smoke pouring through the trees.

Another Lebanese family, the Johns, lived in the three-story rambling house at 5724.

Confederate Park’s “In Memory of our Women of the Southland”

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She’s the embodiment of a Romantic concept called the Lost Cause. Her rhetorical strength, as an object of art, is that to stand before her and deny the Lost Cause lie is to look her in her loving and noble face and call her a liar before her tender children.

Unfortunately, for the Lost Cause Romantics, history documents the originating words of the Confederates.

Tale of Two Cities: Pick Your Poison, Vote Your Conscience, Choose Your Own Adventure

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1. Which house on McCormick Woods Court stands atop Rain Cemetery? And how does History’s Witch answer Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History?

and / or:

2. What did the Tinsleys mean when they said Catherine Tourist Court “cater[ed] to the better class only”? And what’s happened to CTC in Klan Kountry since?

Old Philips, w/o Boundaries, Beheadings, the Last Hall-and-Parlor

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Someone stole their heads. Their bodies had been burnt. Police found two axes in the scorched desolation of the shack. Just before Christmas. 1913.

Most of the residents of Philips were the children or grandchildren of former slaves, or were former slaves themselves. Sunken ground in the slope and swale of Philips Cemetery at Craig Swamp might mark older unrecorded graves.

Her husband lived to be 97. She was born in the house in 1922. Surely he’d heard the story when he was young.

Beluthahatchee–land of activism and art

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“Florida is my birthplace,” Kennedy writes in The Klan Unmasked, “and I am attached to it. I did not want to give the Klan the satisfaction of forcing me to abandon Beluthahatchee.”

When Kennedy drove up to the bus station in Jacksonville to pick him up, all he saw was a bum with a guitar case. When he asked Guthrie where the rest of his belongings were, the singer-poet said, “I’m wearin’ ’em.”

When the Klan hid and sniveled in a courthouse bathroom

Click below for the seventh story in a series of seven about the KKK in Jacksonville. On June 13th, come to Coniferous Cafe in downtown Jax at 7 pm, to hear Tim Gilmore’s talk “The Klan in Jax: Its Repugnant Rise and Hysterical Collapse.

A wave of mostly black protesters, about 300 of them, marched against the Klan before Duval County Courthouse on Bay Street, chanting, “Who’s gonna stop the Klan? We’re gonna stop the Klan!”

A black protester named Rose Marie Seay had snatched the white hood off Royals’s head and was parading around on the street with it for cameras.

Klansmen hid in a back bathroom, upstairs in the courthouse. “‘They accused us of being racists,’ one said, wiping the sweat from his forehead with his shirttail.”

The Klan in Jax Politics, Story no. 6

Click below for the sixth story in a series of seven about the KKK in Jacksonville. On June 13th, come to Coniferous Cafe in downtown Jax at 7 pm, to hear Tim Gilmore’s talk “The Klan in Jax: Its Repugnant Rise and Hysterical Collapse.

Confederate generals like Nathan Bedford Forrest formed the KKK in Tennessee in the wake of the Civil War in 1866. A prominent Jacksonville attorney and Klansman had dubbed himself Nathan II in 1950.

Jacksonville would name another prominent bridge after Governor Fuller Warren, former Jacksonville City Councilman and Klansman. In 1949, Warren called the Klan “covered cowards and sheeted jerks,” but only after Jax Klansman and Baptist preacher A.C. Shuler outed Warren in a sermon as a Kluxer.

Click below for the fourth story in a series of seven about the KKK in Jacksonville. On June 13th, come to Coniferous Cafe in downtown Jax at 7 pm, to hear Tim Gilmore’s talk “The Klan in Jax: Its Repugnant Rise and Hysterical Collapse.

For most of his life, he’d not realized the full traumatic effect of the Klan’s bombing of his childhood home as retaliation for his being the first black child to attend Lackawanna Elementary School.

Can anyone feel the brutality and tragedy in the landscape? Does the Klan’s hate and the Godfreys’ fear and sorrow and determination remain in the soil or the air or the trees? I can’t tell, because I can’t not know what happened here.

 

Klan in Jax, Part 3/7: J.B. Stoner’s Defense of the Klan

Click below for the third story in a series of seven about the KKK in Jacksonville. On June 13th, come to Coniferous Cafe in downtown Jax at 7 pm, to hear Tim Gilmore’s talk “The Klan in Jax: Its Repugnant Rise and Hysterical Collapse.

J.B. Stoner’s defense of the Klan in the case of bombing six year old Donal Godfrey’s house in Jacksonville was apt, for Stoner was no stranger to bombs. In 1980, he’d finally be convicted of bombing Birmingham’s Bethel Baptist Church in 1958.

He also served as defense attorney for the Klan after mass violence in St. Augustine.

Later he became the defense attorney for James Early Ray, the murderer of Martin Luther King, Jr.