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WILLIE JAMES HOWARD



[Written by: Gabriel Scott]


The death of Trayvon Martin in February of 2012 was a very unfortunate and tragic event that took place in Florida, where people tend to overlook the fact that many years ago, Florida was also included as part of the segregated south. On Jan. 2, 1944, which was 11 years prior to the murder of Emmett Till, claimed the life of an unknown 15 year old African American teenager named, Willie James Howard. Around Christmas of 1943, Howard wrote a love letter (card) to a Caucasian girl named, Cynthia Goff, whom he had worked with on the job. Being a normal teenager, Howard didn't feel he had done anything wrong. Not sure whether Cynthia told her father or her father found the note. A couple weeks later, Cynthia's father along with two other men forced Howard out of his home. They walked him to the edge of the freezing cold Suwanee River at gun point with his hands and feet bound. They forced Howard's father to watch as his son jumped in and drowned to death. Still to this very day, justice has not been served for his murder.

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