Image

10:27 AM / Friday May 20, 2022

4 Aug 2013

Trayvon Martin was just one more victim in a history of violence targeting African Americans in Central Florida

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
August 4, 2013 Category: Stateside Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Trayvon Martin

(AP photo)

 

In order to protect it’s tourist industry, Central Florida officials have a history of sweeping deaths under the rug

 

By Wendell P. Simpson

 

Central Florida, an area inextricably linked in the minds of most to good times, beaches, fun-in-the-sun and grandiose theme parks–the world’s playground–is also a place where racial issues have long collided with its sparkling, pristine image. When George Zimmerman, the adopted Hispanic son of a retired circuit court judge, recently walked on the charge of murder against a local teen, Trayvon Martin, a controversy ensued that  breathed new life into the dormant rancor, acrimony and injustice that had characterized the area’s sordid racial past. 

 

On the night of February 26, 2012, the fatal shooting of Martin by Zimmerman took place in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student who was visiting his father and his father’s new wife in the gated community. Twenty-eight year old Zimmerman was a resident and the neighborhood watch coordinator for the area.  Sometime in the early evening, Zimmerman and Martin were involved in a scuffle. Police arrived soon after neighbors reported gunshots. Zimmerman was initially taken into custody by Sanford police, treated for minor head lacerations, and then questioned. After five hours, Zimmerman was released for lack of evidence and lack of legal grounds for arrest in accordance with the State’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws.

 

Six weeks later, amid growing controversy, contradictory media coverage and a nationwide furor over his release, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with murder. On June 10, 2013, Zimmerman’s trial commenced. On July 13, 2013, a Sanford jury acquitted him of murder and manslaughter charges.

 

Protests bemoaning the verdict took place in several cities across the nation, most notably in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Some protests erupted into violence and looting; hundreds of arrests were made and protestors held.  

 

The Martin-Zimmerman case was hardly the first time that Central Florida found itself thrust into the murky waters of racial controversy and seeming injustice.  Three cases from Central Florida’s harrowing racial past throw light on this history of racial animus:  

 

July Perry: In 1920, Perry and another African American man, Mose Norman, tried to vote in the November national elections. They were stopped by white residents of Ocoee, a town directly to the west or present day Orlando. A race riot ensued in which up to 60 African Americans–including Norman–were killed. Perry was locked up in the county jail. The next day, a mob absconded with Perry, and he was lynched. The homes and businesses of local African Americans were burned to the ground. Local Blacks did not venture into Western Orange County until the 1980s.  

 

Rosewood: The story of the massacre of Black residents in the small town just north of Sanford, Florida was immortalized in John Singleton’s 1997 movie.  

 

Almaz Andarge: A young woman of Ethiopian descent, Ms. Andarge was murdered in one of Orlando’s premier hotels. The student was working part-time as a maid at an International Drive hotel when her body was found hanging form the ceiling of a hotel room.  The official verdict by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was that Ms. Andarge’s death was a suicide; however, good detective work by her brother, Haile Andarge, revealed that Ms. Andarge was murdered by a hotel employee who accidentally stumbled upon the maid while robbing one of the hotel rooms.

Image


 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Stateside

Grand jury indicts gunman Payton Gendron on first degree murder charges

May 20, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email AP–Gunman Payton Gendron, 18, appeared briefly in court to hear that he was...

Education

Community College of Philadelphia hosts 2022 commencement ceremony 

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Graduates pose during last week’s first full, in-person graduation ceremony since...

Diaspora

New reparations focus: Black enclaves lost to development

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: A wall with a mural separates a housing development, top, from...

Politics

Democrats’ effort to secure Roe v. Wade falls to filibuster

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Anti-scaling fencing blocks off the stairs to the Supreme Court, Tuesday,...

Week In Review

Daunte Wright’s mother detained after recording traffic stop

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Katie Wright holds the hand on her injured wrist before a...

Color Of Money

The hidden cost of debt on your mental health and tips to overcome

May 13, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT May is Mental Health Awareness Month and one of the biggest factors...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff