Each of the 800 hanging blocks at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama is engraved with the names of lynching victims from a particular county. The block representing Manatee County (of which Sarasota was a part in the early 19th century) bears the names of six men.
Each of the 800 hanging blocks at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama is engraved with the names of lynching victims from a particular county. The block representing Manatee County (of which Sarasota was a part in the early 19th century) bears the names of six men.

In 2016, just as she was completing a city-contracted research project into the history of Sarasota’s Black community, Vickie Oldham of Newtown Alive received a last minute invitation to the annual dinner of Legal Aid of Manaso. The keynote speaker was Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer and social activist now well known for his 2014 memoir-turned-2019 movie, “Just Mercy,” but at the time, unfamiliar to Oldham.

In his address, Stevenson talked about the legacy of lynchings in the United States,…

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