In the last several years the Orange County community has grappled with trying to learn the truth of the cloudy Ocoee past. Though the massacre took place in Ocoee. Many outsiders were involved and the event effected people all over the state. Many of the African-Americans that were able to escape fled to cities such as Apopka, Winter Garden, Zellwood and Orlando. The settlement of those that escaped the massacre had and continues to have a direct effect on aforementioned communities. Thus the disenfranchisement of the African-American community continues to have a broad social impact on central Florida.
As citizens begin to learn about what happened on that November night, they are faced with a myriad of emotions. Many people are angered at the injustice, others believe the occurrence to be a myth. Still others try to understand how such brutal actions could take place at all. Recently, the Orlando Sentinel, the Gainesville Sun and other central Florida newspapers have published stories about the events that surrounded the Ocoee massacre, but none have gone in depth, thus the necessity of this documentary.
The Democracy Forum has contacted descendants, commissioned a play and continues to memorialize July Perry's unmarked gravesite annually. Their goals include seeking justice for the victims and their familes, as well as educating the region about the 1920 massacre.
The West Orange Reconciliation Task Force, wants to honor those that lost their lives, however they disagree with the Democracy Forum seeking justice for the descendants of the massacre victims. The WORTF is committed to writing an anthology that tells the history of the event, but they want to leave the event in the past and not carry it into the future. The two groups have differing ways of reconciling what happened, and they often clash. This film aims to show the emotional difficulty of reconciliation and the courage of those who participate in the process. It also seeks to show the disenfranchisement of African-American communities, as it occurred in Ocoee, is a contributing factor to economic and emotional idiosyncracies that persist today.
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Copyright November 2008, Wise Eye Media, Inc.