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Landmark exhibition examines Ocoee Massacre of 1920

 | Published on 9/23/2020
Landmark exhibition examines Ocoee Massacre of 1920,
ignited after a Black citizen tried to vote

 

ORLANDO, Fla.(Sept.23,2020)The Orange County Regional History Centerannounces alandmark exhibition,Yesterday,This Was Home: The Ocoee Massacre of 1920,thatexaminesthelargest incident of voting-day violence in United States history.The exhibitionmarks the centennial of the event — once hidden history in Central Florida — andwill beon display from Oct. 3, 2020, throughFeb. 14, 2021.

The Ocoee Massacre wasignited on Election Day of 1920, when MosesNorman, a Black citizen,attempted to vote in Ocoee and was turned away. Afterawhitemob came to the home of his friend, July Perry, in search of Norman, gunshots erupted. An unknown number of peoplewere killed, including Perry, who was lynched in Orlando in the early hours of the next day. Eventually, the Black population of Ocoee fled, never to return.In telling the story,History Centerstaff have relied extensively on original research intoprimarysources andoral histories.

Yesterday, This Was Homeexploresnot only this horrificevent in Central Florida’s pastbut alsootherhistorical and recent incidents of racism, hatredand terror.One ofthe exhibition’srecurringthemesisthe oppression of the Black communityand their battle to rise above it, from enslavement,tothe impactofthe Ocoee Massacre,totheBlack Lives Mattermovementtoday.

History Center staff havealsodesignedYesterday, This Was Hometoencourage reflection on a century of social transformation, the power of perspective,and the importance of exercising the right to vote.Multiple interactives about voting, videos and digital mapsenhance thevisitor experience.

Tofollowsocialdistancing,the History Center has implemented new timed ticketing procedures for thespecial exhibitionYesterday,This Was Home: The Ocoee Massacre of 1920. For safety purposes, capacity will be limited in our exhibit hall. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.Media tours are available by appointment the week of Oct.5.


AboutOrange County Regional History Center
TheOrange County Regional History Center, housed in a historic courthouse at 65 E. Central Blvd. in downtown Orlando, features four floors of permanent and limited-run exhibitions. The museum is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Orange County Regional History Center is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Community & Family Services Department under Orange County Mayor Jerry L.Demingsand the Board of County Commissioners. The Historical Society of Central Florida Inc. is supported by United Arts of Central Florida and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.For more information, please visitwww.thehistorycenter.org.