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The Jacksonville Oral History Project:

Black Law EnforCement


the George Floyd Moment

For the past two years, I have been honored to head the oral history project for the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project, an organization dedicated to revealing the history behind racial terror lynchings in Jacksonville. I initially focused on capturing the perspectives of elders in the community who had experienced incidents of racial terror, and our work was featured in the Museum of Science and History

This past summer, we decided on a new direction. Inspired by the murder of George Floyd, we set out to capture the stories of the people who were caught in the middle of the conflict: they were police officers AND they were black.

The first officer I interviewed was Ken Jefferson of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO). After discussing his illustrious career, we tackle the topic of George Floyd at the 24-minute mark.

Sgt. Sherri Luke was an officer for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in the early 1980s

Lakesha Burton is CEO of the Jacksonville Police Athletic League and is a candidate for sheriff of Jacksonville

About David

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UCLA, a Master of Arts in History from Cal State University--Los Angeles, and a Doctor of Philosophy in African Diaspora History from Indiana University. I spent nine years as a public school teacher first in East New York, Brooklyn, and then in South and East Los Angeles. 


My dissertation topic was on slave resistance, as well as the construction of race. Although I am considered a resistance scholar, I am primarily interested in creating community dedicated to effecting global change through the promotion of justice and freedom for all living things. So I consider myself a "freedom scholar."

I am originally from Queens, New York, but I currently reside in Jacksonville, Florida, where I am the Assistant Professor of History at Edward Waters College, Florida's first HBCU.

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Photo Credits:

Profile Pic: Kate Hallock

All other photos by: Ronnda Cargile Jamison

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