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Ocoee Massacre Compensation Sought

Image: Downtown Ocoee 1920, ocoee.org

An effort is underway to expand a scholarship program set up more than 25 years ago for descendants of the Rosewood massacre to include those whose families were directly impacted by the 1920 Ocoee Election Day riot.

During a news conference at the state capitol Wednesday, State Senator Randolph Bracy said he’s been in talks with Republican House and Senate leadership to expand the Rosewood Family Scholarship that offers up to $6,100 dollars per year to students who are direct descendants of families impacted by the separate January 1923 massacre.

Bracy is pushing this year’s proposal as part of the budget building process rather than as a standalone bill.

He says the approach is a compromise aimed at helping the families of the Ocoee riot, which happened after a Black man attempted to vote in the Central Florida community.

“I’m not under the illusion that people will think this is enough. But, I think that considering the makeup of the legislature, considering the climate, considering COVID and how it’s hurt our budget, the fact that we are seriously negotiating this, I think, is a step forward.”

Based upon various reports, between three and 60 African Americans died from the 1920 Election Day riot and the remaining Black residents fled their homes and property.

Last year, Bracy led a successful effort to require public-school students to learn about the Ocoee riot, similar to teaching the history of the Holocaust.

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