At least I never had. On this day in 1920, the Ocoee massacre occurred:
The Ocoee massacre was a violent race riot that broke out on November 2, 1920, the day of the presidential election of 1920, in Ocoee, Florida, a city in Orange County, Florida, United States. African-American-owned buildings and residences in northern Ocoee were burned to the ground, and as many as 500 African Americans may have been killed throughout the conflict. The African-Americans residing in Ocoee who were not direct victims of the race riot were later driven out by threats or force. Ocoee would then become an all-white town and remain as such “until sixty-one years later in 1981.” The riot is still considered the “single bloodiest day in modern American political history.”
The race riot was started as a white mob’s response to the persistence of Mose Norman, an African American, to vote on election day. Mose Norman was ordered and driven away when he first attempted to go to the polls. When he came back to the polls later, with a shotgun, he was driven away by whites, who would later form a mob to search for him. The white mob then surrounded the home of Julius “July” Perry, a prosperous local African-American farmer and contractor, where it was believed Norman was taking refuge. After Perry drove away the white mob with gunshots, the mob called for reinforcements from Orlando and Orange County, who then laid waste to the African-American community in Ocoee and eventually killed Perry. Norman would escape, never to be found. Other African Americans would flee into the orange groves, swamps and neighboring towns, leaving their homes and possessions behind.
At any rate, this is why there is Black History Month. Because basically, a 9/11 happened in 1920, and I’m 45 and never even heard of it until a black person on twitter I follow tweeted about it. Fer fuck’s sake, a couple dozen yokels got killed in a land grab (I’m simplifying a bit) in Texas and every kid in the nation “remembers” the Alamo. Here, 500 Americans were murdered, and it’s crickets.