FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A tribute was made for the victim of a 1935 lynching, a murder that marked one of the darkest days in Fort Lauderdale history.
The moment is frozen in a photograph.
The lynching of Rubin Stacy is the picture of racism, taken during the summer of 1935.
The lesson of Rubin Stacy is the mission of this community this summer of 2021.
“I came across this story that shocked me, that a man had actually been lynched in this county,” said Parkland City Commissioner Ken Cutler.
For three years, Cutler, Parkland’s commissioner and history buff, found others who had been documenting Stacy’s racist murder and what led to it: A false allegation by a white woman, a mob, cruel ignorance and apathy in the faces of the crowd, including children, on that stretch of Old Davie Road.
“Based on the news stories back in that timeframe, that it happened adjacent to the woman’s house that he, that Rubin Stacy, was accused of assaulting,” Cutler said.
The NAACP back then used that horrifying news photo as it lobbied, unsuccessfully, for an anti-lynching law.
Today, Stacy is one of the 800 memorialized in the National Memorial for Peace and Justice Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.
Here in Fort Lauderdale, the city commission vote this week finalized renaming the now commercial stretch of Davie Boulevard, from I-95 to State Road 441, in Stacy’s memory.
“They are getting the word out so people will start talking about Rubin Stacy,” Cutler said. “Who he was, what happened to him, and use that to effectuate change.”