This reblog is more grim than a lot of things on this blog, but it is a necessary exploration. I’m often surprised at how much we handwave certain things as “it happened a long time ago” or “well that was how things were back then and you can’t just live in the past,” when in our time now it’s almost sacrilege to draw a comparison about certain incidents happening that took place at least 15 years ago.
I also think most importantly that history is made up of events and people and many times those are personal history as well.
We should all be grateful to Tananarive Due for sharing this.
AUGUST 2015 UPDATE: The remains of my great-uncle, Robert Stephens, were positively identified from the Dozier School cemetery. [Read more here.]
MARCH 2014 UPDATE: The [Rof South Florida exhumed 55 bodies from the cemetery.
In 1937, my great-uncle, Robert Stephens, was buried at the Dozier School in Marianna, Florida, with perhaps up to 100 other boys who never came home after being sentenced to the notorious reformatory. Last September, I went to Marianna with my father, husband and son to observe the beginning of exhumations at the site. I started writing this post the first week of September in 2013, and I’m only completing it in January of 2014. This was hard to write.
This is not only a story about the past. This story illustrates why our criminal justice system—racially biased and more and more dependent upon private prisons—is itself in dire need of reform.
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