The Boxser Diversity Initiative is honored to lead The Sarasota and Manatee Community Remembrance Project Coalition (SMCRPC), together with Newtown Alive and The Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition
(SAACC), are organizing an alliance of partners to bring a permanent memorial that recognizes lynching victims in this area.

We are working toward fulfilling the requirements of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) to receive a replica of the historical marker from the EJI Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Every county in the country can make such a request where a lynching has occurred.

The objective is to place this Marker at the new Sarasota African American Art Center and History Museum. The Coalition will be a grassroots initiative of organizations and individuals. We are hoping these supporters will advocate for the project, spread the word, assist in outreach and educate the community.


To bear witness to the legacy of racial terror epitomized by lynchings in America.


Prior to 1921, Sarasota was part of Manatee County. During that time, EJI has documented five victims of lynchings in this area:

Henry Thomas March 8, 1903
Sam Ellis March 7, 1910
Wade Ellis March 7, 1910
–Ruddy March 8, 1910
William English July 1, 1912
James Franklin April 4, 1934 *
*after Sarasota separated from Manatee County

In addition, our head of research Mrs. Hope Black, has found one more name, Lewis Jackson, listed in the NAACP book, Thirty Years of Lynching, published in 1919. The lynching site, Parrish, Manatee. We know there were more, but not documented.


The Sarasota & Manatee Community Remembrance Project Coalition (SMCRPC) will advocate for the truth of the stories: Educate and Commemorate this history, in an effort to bring about justice, equity, peace and healing.

Guiding Principles

The SMCRPC believes that trauma and psychological wounds of lynching continues to impact the Black community and that truth and reconciliation follow one another. We are compelled to recognize the pain of the past.
Execution by mobs profoundly impacted race relations in this country and shaped the geography, political, social and economic conditions of Blacks in Sarasota and Manatee Counties that still persist.

Our Coalition hopes that you will participate as a supporter for this project.
Please confirm your interest by email to or, if you have questions or please call Dan Boxser at 941-321-7852.