The gruesome southern custom of lynching blacks no longer plagues the state of Florida. Yet, between 1882 and 1945, this species of vigilantism was a persistent problem. In the period 1889 to 1918, peak lynching years in the United States, nearly 200 blacks were executed in Florida. During the decade 1890-1900, seventy-four blacks were victims to lynch-law in Florida, and in the first ten years of the twentieth century, fifty-one met death in the same fashion. Forty-nine blacks were lynched between 1910 and 1917, and thirty-four between 1922 and 1929. Twelve blacks were executed during the decade of the 1930s, and three in the five-year period, 1940-1945, before this violence finally ceased. One of the most notorious of these tragedies occurred when vigilantes lynched two black teenagers, Richard Ponder and Ernest Hawkins, in Tallahassee during the summer of 1937.
Howard, Walter T.
"Vigilante Justice and National Reaction: The 1937 Tallahassee Double Lynching,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 67:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol67/iss1/5