JACKSON COUNTY FLORIDIAN NEWS, Our View: This is not our Marianna. The unfolding controversy at the notorious and long-defunct (closed in 2011) Dozier School for Boys has drawn dark clouds over our northwest Florida community for several years. we encourage state officials and others concerned with burying the legacy of Dozier to put whatever blame where it belongs – on the state of Florida, not the city of Marianna….. “Oh Yeah, so where did the guard work pool come from for the Dozier concentration camp”? Yeah I know, they were just doing their job, just like guards at other concentration camps.
TROY E. TIDWELL THE ‘ONE ARMED MAN’ TORTURED BOYS AT THE DOZIER SCHOOL FOR DECADES HE IS A LIFELONG RESIDENT OF MARIANNA FL LIVING ON PUTNAM AND PARK ST. Let’s get real here all you fine citizens of Marianna Florida, during the 1930′s, 1940′s, 1950′s and the the 1960′s Marianna was the center and a stronghold for Ku Klux Klan activity, lynching of black males along with unspeakable rape, torture and murder of white and black boys at the Dozier School for Boys was the order of the day. Dozier school guards (from Marianna), administration, and the local Marianna Sheriff were all linked to the violent KKK. Just what do you think happened to the black boys at the Dozier School For Boys in the 1950′s and the 1960′s, and just who do you think worked at Dozier, Martians?
It is a matter of fact that young boys, both white and colored, were raped and tortured at the Dozier School for Boys “White House” in Marianna Fl, at least 65 ended up dead. During the time frame of 1932 to 1936 there were reported to be 12 young ’colored boys’ who died of “Pneumonia” (just like in the movie ‘Sleepers’) at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna Fl. On October 26th, 1934 the ‘colored man’ Claude Neal was brutally tortured and lynched in Marianna Fl by the KKK and his body was left hanging to a tree in the Marianna Town Square for 24 hours, so what really happened to those ‘colored boys’ at Dozier?
Just as the autobiographical book and movie Sleepers should serve as a cautionary tale against the cruelties of a few against those within their control. Lorenzo Carcaterra grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York in the 1960′s and, after crushing a man accidentally during a prank, was sent off with three of his friends to the Wilkinson Home for Boys (Elmira Reformatory in the 1960′s) in upstate New York. There, at the hands of those in charge, Carcaterra and his friends were abused repeatedly.
As a long time resident and business owner in Panama City Fl before moving to Sarasota Fl, I had several investigative cases in and around Marianna Fl, I got a good taste of the mind set of the residents. For several years I have worked in conjunction with the White House Boys in getting their story out to the public, in doing so I have had over 30 phone interviews with past “inmates” at the Dozier School for Boys. In each and every one of these phone interviews the story was always the same, beatings, rape and young boys who went to the “White House” and were never seen again. It is what it is and the FBI should be on the ground along with USF Prof Dr. Kimmerle and her team investigating the possible murders and civil rights violations of the boys at the Dozier School in Marianna Fl.
KKK in Marianna Jackson County Fl and at the Dozier School for Boys. From 1869 to 1871, four years after the Civil War ended in 1865, Jackson County was the center of a low-level guerrilla war known as the Jackson County War. Members of the Ku Klux Klan consisting of Confederate Army veterans assassinated over 150 Republican Party officials and murdered prominent African-Americans as part of a successful campaign to retain white Democratic power. The Florida Industrial School for Boys also known as the Dozier School for Boys Marianna Fl opened for business on January 1st, 1900, it appears that many of the guards and school officials were pulled from the membership of the KKK.
From early 1869 through the end of 1871, citizens of Jackson County, Florida, slaughtered their neighbors by the score. The nearly three year frenzy of bloodshed became known as the Jackson County War. The killings, close to one hundred and by some estimates twice that number, brought Jackson County the notoriety of being the most violent county in Florida during the Reconstruction era. The Jackson County War emerges as an emblem of all that could and did go wrong in the uneasy years after Appomattox and that left a residue of hatred and fear that endured for generations. By 1920, millions of board feet of lumber and thousands of barrels of turpentine and rosin had been shipped from Jackson County. This was during the “convict leasing program” that was in effect. Not only men but boys as young as 13-14 were sent to these camps. The level of brutality was severe. The boys were expected to do a man’s work and if they didn’t they were whipped where they fell.