Tag Archives: Tim Gilmore

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.

 

The Klan in Jax: the first story of seven

Click below for the first 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.

In the 1920s, when Stetson Kennedy saw his first Klan parade on Jacksonville’s Main Street and Willie Chappell saw the victims of lynchings hanging in the trees off Edgewood Avenue near New Kings Road, the Klan was at its zenith.

Eartha White, the NAACP, and affiliated activists compared notes and estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 black voters had been terrorized from or outright denied the chance to vote in Duval County’s first post-19th-Amendment election.

Reverend A.C. Shuler, pastor of Jacksonville’s former Calvary Baptist Church, predicted the Klan would pick the next American president. Shuler outed Florida Governor Fuller Warren, former Jacksonville city councilman, as a former Klansman in a sermon.

New Story: The Strange History of Springfield’s Bungalow Court

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In these old photographs, Harry Walters still smiles forward, six years old, holding his Easter basket on a Sunday slipping further and further behind us.

Ironically, by the time Dancy Terrace’s front porches appeared in the 2006 movie Lonely Hearts, starring John Travolta and Salma Hayek, the entire court was abandoned.

Five Points’ Pioneer Funk: Edge City

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Edge City has inhabited 1017 Park Street for 43 years, and Gunnel Humphreys for 41. Pizza Italian at 1053 Park Street has operated for 41 years too, but Gunnel laughs that she and Tom were here first—by three or four months.

New Story: Earth Day at Cracker Swamp in Whitehouse

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LeRoy grew up off McGirts Creek, off General Road, off the little community called Whitehouse, says his Gran’pap called those wet sunken lands beyond the trees “Cracker Swamp.”

“And for this reason the place was called ‘Cracker Swamp,’ a name it still retains.”

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.”

Stories 4 and 5 of Coquina Gates: Last Chance and The Gates

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For Coquina Gates story no. 4: First House, Last Chance–

Anna died just shy of her 94th birthday, on April Fools’ Day. 2009.

Andrea’s is the original house and the only one the Russells never named. Andrea moved into Anna’s first house while Anna lived in her last house.

For Coquina Gates story no. 5: The Gates–

Barbara knew Jim only at the end of his life. He was frustrated, depressed.

“This is the miraculous site,” Barbara says, “of Jim Russell’s artistry and Anna Russell’s love and care for that vision.”

Coquina Gates, Part 3: Riots of the Fall and Nor’east

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“I remember Coquina Gates as a place filled always with music,” she says. Riots of the Fall was a folk festival Jim and Anna Russell held at Coquina Gates for three years in the mid-1960s.

“And my dad was very tender. He’d go out there in the mornings and find these little frogs had drowned in the pool. So he got up earlier. And every morning he was out there trying to get the frogs and all the insects that had landed in the pool, because he didn’t want any of them to drown.”

Inside the house called Nor’east, the legendary door, which I’ve heard is cypress and I’ve heard is oak, which I’ve heard weighs 300 pounds and I’ve heard weighs 700 pounds, once opened to the breeze.

Searching for Gonny’s Head, Finding the Ruins

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I was joking when I told her I wanted to find the old man’s bearded head. She’d watched me for a moment, sly-smiled, and called me a resurrectionist.

When Gonny lived here, harvested his home, and built his house, small wild horses still roamed these coastal marsh islands.