Wilkes Honors College Professor to aid Remembrance of the Ocoee Election Day Massacre of 1920 

Ocoee Election Day photo

by William O’Brien | Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021

William O’BrienWilliam O’Brien, Ph.D., has been invited to serve as a member of the Ocoee Election Day Riots Historical Review and Dedication Committee. Formed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the committee’s mandate is to name/rename state park facilities and other potential sites after victims of the Ocoee Massacre of November 2-3, 1920, near Orlando, Florida.   


The massacre was perpetrated by a white lynch mob in retribution for attempts to exercise Black voting rights. The violent event marks the deadliest election day in American history.   


Dr. O’Brien is a professor of Environmental Studies and chair of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College on FAU's John D. MacArthur Campus at Jupiter.   


He is the author of  Landscapes of Exclusion: State Parks and Jim Crow in the American South  (University of Massachusetts Press and Library of American Landscape History, 2016).   

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