Remove tree in front of Jackson County courthouse where Claude Neale was lynched!
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On October 26th, 1934, 23 year old Claude Neal was mercilessly lynched by a white mob in Marianna, Florida. Often considered one of the most egregious lynchings of the 20th century, Neale’s murder was nothing short of a spectacle death. Before he was lynched, large crowds from the white community came to bask in the sight of his being tortured. As his body hung lifelessly from a large oak tree, more members of the white community returned to the scene to take pictures—some even sold these pictures and traded parts of Neale's dismembered body to other white people as souvenirs.
Now, almost 90 years after this national tragedy, the same tree that served as the host for Claude Neale’s execution (and arguably countless other Black folk in the area) still stands in front of the Jackson County court house. Today, we, the citizens of Jackson County, volunteers of the Street Philosophy Institute (SPI), and allies across the world, demand that this ugly reminder of the viscous legacy of white supremacy and anti-Blackness be removed from the Jackson County court house lawns. We also demand that, in its place, the state of Florida and city of Marianna erect a memorial in remembrance of not only Claude Neale but all lynching victims in Jackson County, Florida during the Jim Crow era!
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