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90th Anniversary of Fort Myers Lynching

From Photo Collection of James Allen

May 25 and 26 will mark the 90th anniversary of the lynching of two black youth in Fort Myers. We’ll take a step back into our region’s history for a closer examination of what’s known about the lynching and its impacts along with a broader look at the phenomenon of lynching in the history of the American South. We’ll also hear from a self-described ‘picker’ who’s collected more than 100 photographs and postcards documenting lynchings throughout the U.S. carried out between the late 1800s up through the 1950s. The disturbing photos are collected in the book “Without Sanctuary.”  Some descriptions in this conversation may be upsetting or disturbing to some listeners.


Jonathan Harrison, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University and Hodges University

James Allen, Collector of Lynching Photographs in Without Sanctuary


This segment answered a question from a listener through our Curious Gulf Coast series. Do you have a question about Southwest Florida or its people you'd like WGCU to check out? Click here to ask.


John Davis has been a full-time Reporter/Producer for WGCU since 2009. He is the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition and producer and host for WGCU’s radio talk program Gulf Coast Live! John came to WGCU as an intern in 2007, and is now reporting on a broad spectrum of topics of interest to Southwest Florida. Prior to joining WGCU, he worked at WDUQ-FM in Pittsburgh, PA covering local government and general assignments.John studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Florida Gulf Coast University. His work has garnered awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and a first place award and “Best in Show” from the Florida Associated Press for his investigative work in 2011.