This 1920 Florida Election Ended In A Bloody Massacre

cross lit on fire and burning
L. Graciella Maiolatesi
August 9, 2022

The night before the 1920 election the KKK burned crosses throughout Florida, threatening, “Not a single Negro will be permitted to vote.” 

This made Mose Norman’s blood boil.

On Election Day, Norman watched as his community was violently turned away from the polls by the KKK — many of whom were police officers

Enraged, Norman rode for miles seeking out a federal judge — he was prepared to bring a lawsuit against the entire county if necessary!

When Norman returned to Ocoee, it was with judicial support to threaten anyone denying Black voters their constitutional right with legal action. Leading a group of Black men, Norman yelled, “We will vote, by God!”

But white supremacists gatekeeping the polls didn’t like this one bit.

Within minutes the polls had turned into a bloodbath. Over 50 Black people were murdered, and much of the town set on fire. 

One hundred years later, we’re still seeing the same level of white supremacist tantrum with the January 6th capitol insurrection. We must prepare ourselves for what’s to come during the next election period.

White supremacy hates being challenged and will resort to violence as a means to control us, just like their ancestors before them did. 

Like Norman, we mustn’t cower even if we know violence is likely — liberation by any means.

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