Last night I went to a book signing in Mount Dora, Fl. The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America“, Gilbert King spoke about his book, the case and then answered questions from the audience. The Groveland Boy case happened in Lake County where I live and involved four young black men who were accused of raping a young white girl. All four were innocent. The story is quite complicated and very interesting. Thurgood Marshall came to Lake County to represent the young men. As the story progresses two of the young men were being transported from the prison back to a Lake County courtroom for their second trial when the sheriff, Willis V. McCall, shot them on the side of the road. He thought they were both dead but one survived.
There is so much more to the story than I am going to tell you here so I am going to ask you to read the book. It’s an important story that needs to be told again and again. It was amazing to listen to Mr.King and also some of the audience told their personal stories. There were surviving family members of the Groveland Fou present and as I waited in line to have my book signed I talked to the man in front of me about the book, race and life, it turns out that he is a descendant of one of the Rosewood families. Rosewood. Fl. was a black settlement in Levy County Florida that was burnt to the ground and the families run off in response to a lynching. In 1997, the movie Rosewood was released.
These stories are important and many times our history is swept under the rug if it is unpleasant and that was done in the case of the Groveland Boys. Most residents of Lake County have never ehard of the case and are not aware that it was not just local news but national and international news. They are not aware that the monies that helped win the case of Brown vs, Brown came from cash the NAACP raised in response to the injustice of the Groveland Boys case. Even many of the surviving family of the Groveland Boys were unaware of details of the case. It was the earlier generations way of protecting them from the sadness and fear.
Please visit Gilbert King’s website for more information and PLEASE READ THE BOOK.
THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY OTHER BLOG AT WWW.GOODINKLINGS.COM