Historical marker honoring 1920 lynching victim unveiled in Downtown Orlando

An Orlando historical marker honoring the 1920 lynching victim was unveiled Friday in Downtown Orlando.  

The marker stands in front of the History Center, honoring the life of July Perry, a prominent African American businessman, landowner and farmer.

He was lynched by a white mob almost 100 years ago.

At the unveiling ceremony, his great-grandson, Stephen A. Nunn, recalled the stories from his grandmother, who saw her father taken away.

“For me, personally, I got it from her perspective,” Nunn said. “She was in the house. She was there with her dad. She was part of the exodus from Ocoee by the FBI and police to Orlando. So there were things that I was able to glean from her side.”

On the night of Election Day, November 2, 1920, Perry was ambushed by a mob of white men and lynched near Downtown Orlando. 

That was the beginning of what came to be known as the Ocoee Massacre. 

Dozens of black citizens were murdered and their homes burned to the ground.

This market is now a reminder of that day.

“What’s important is that the community use this marker as a tool to start the conversation, so that we know the history, so that we can start unveiling the truths, so we can progress,” said Josie Lemonallen, of the Bridge the Gap Coalition.

This marker represents the U.S. victims of lynching between 1877 and 1950.

“We’re seeing the result of justice today,” Nunn said.