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New bill offers Groveland Four descendants scholarships, business loans

ORLANDO, Fla. – A representative in the Florida Household is looking to further maintain the state accountable as a result of reparations when it comes to the Groveland 4.

“The condition of Florida needs to make amends,” State Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, mentioned. “Instead of just stating we’re sorry.”

Thompson released HB-1133 Monday.

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It’s set to supply company financial loans for black business owners and scholarships to honor Ernest Thomas, Samuel Shepard, Walter Irvin, and Charles Greenlee the team acknowledged broadly as the Groveland Four.

All 4 males had been wrongly accused of raping a white woman in 1949. Monthly bill Gladson, of Florida’s fifth judicial circuit, filed a movement to dismiss the responsible verdicts of Charles Greenlee and Walter Irvin, as very well as the indictments towards Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas — each of whom were being killed before their situations ended up retried and attempted for the first time, respectively.

The group was exonerated this earlier yr right after earlier currently being posthumously pardoned.

“People never fully grasp when you say the word reparation, it only suggests to mend hurt which is been performed and it doesn’t suggest offering persons a pot of cash,” explained Rep. Thompson.

In its place of a pot of revenue, reparations, according to Thompson, can occur in the kind of scholarships.


The monthly bill is established to allow an yearly sum of $6,100 for up to 50 students per yr, with descendants of the Groveland Four becoming 1st on the checklist.

Reduced-desire financial loans are also in the monthly bill prioritizing, “any applications for black enterprise enterprises in places directly impacted by the Groveland 4 injustice.”

“The Section of Financial Chance will be placing up the standards for the bank loan program, but we have asked that it be patterned immediately after the Black Business Investment Fund that operates now,” Thompson explained.

Rep. Thompson states she has faith the invoice will move and suggests this has been carried out in advance of.

“Given the Rosewood massacre, there ended up scholarships for descendants of Rosewood, and final yr for the for the descendants for the massacre in Ocoee, scholarships had been set up,” mentioned Thompson.

The state legislature convenes upcoming Tuesday. Thompson states the invoice still wants to be assigned to a committee prior to it can be voted on in the Property and Senate.

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