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Democracy Abroad, Lynching at HomeRacial Violence in Florida$
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Tameka Bradley Hobbs

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061047

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061047.001.0001

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“A Very Cheap Article”

“A Very Cheap Article”

The Lynching of Willie James Howard, Suwannee County, 1944

(p.121) 4 “A Very Cheap Article”
Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home

Tameka Bradley Hobbs

University Press of Florida

While Emmett Till may be the best-known young victim of southern violence, another young African American boy was killed for a similar reason nearly ten years earlier in central North Florida. One Sunday morning in January 1944, eleven years before Till’s tragic death, three white men forced another teenager, fifteen-year-old Willie James Howard, to jump into the Suwannee River to his death. The boy had passed a note to a white girl with whom he was acquainted the day before. Aside from the travesty of the lynching itself-the loss of life and the uprooting of the Howard family-the collective memory in the African American community, as revealed through oral histories, expose legacy of dissonance that continued to haunt their memories of the events surrounding the lynching of Willie James Howard. Additionally, the president of the Florida Conference of the NAACP, Harry T. Moore, attempted to draw state and federal attention to the matter, urging further investigation.

Keywords:   Willie James Howard, Live Oak, Florida, Lynching, Harry T. Moore, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Suwannee County, Florida, Suwannee River

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