Public History, Ocoee, July Perry, Harry T. Moore, Public Memory
From the time of their occurrence up to the present, people have constructed and revised narratives about violent racial events in Florida. In the case of the racial violence in Ocoee and the lynching of July Perry, multiple accounts coexisted until one particular group in the 1990's contested earlier conservative white Southern narratives with new public memories containing African American perspectives of the events, demanding racial justice and memorialization of the events. A struggle over the power to construct this narrative resulted in compromises between the two sets of memories. While some goals were attained, the landscape of memorization remains undeveloped. The construction of a narrative concerning the meaning of Harry T. Moore's life and death entered the public domain at his death and remained unchanging, carried forward by the collective memories of African Americans in Florida. Historians reassessed his role as a martyr for civil rights to the first martyr of the Civil Right's Movement. A group of African Americans in Brevard County were successful in attaining resources that included landscape and a memorial complex during the 1990's and the first decade of 2000. The construction of public memories and the power to gain landscape and resources for commemoration reflected the aims and power of each group. Because the public memories of July Perry were contested, the group could not attain commemorative landscapes. However, the narratives about Harry T. Moore had consensus, allowing significant commemorations.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Parry, Katherine, "Constructing African American Histories In Central Florida" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3633.