February 8, 2022 was an incredibly moving and historic day for the Broward County, the City of Ft. Lauderdale, and the citizens of our community and I am proud to have taken a part.
Rubin Stacy was a 29-year-old resident of Broward County. He was a husband, son, father, brother, uncle and a gainfully employed hard-working man living in a house in Fort Lauderdale on NW 2nd Street. He was Black and unfortunately, reprehensibly, he was lynched and shot multiple times by a white mob right here in Broward County just off of Davie Blvd. on July 19, 1935. He was not protected by the law, he was not given a fair trial, he certainly did not receive justice in our county.
In July 2020, I reached out to Mayor Trantalis and to Commissioner Ben Sorensen with the idea, arrived at after a discussion with retired Judge Scott Silverman, that in order to really do justice in this matter we should try to recognize this for what it is by thinking bigger and changing the name of Davie Blvd, the street off of which the lynching took place.
With the help of Commissioners Sorensen and McKinzie we got it on the agenda and, on June 15th, 2021, at the Fort Lauderdale Commission meeting, Curtis Mozie, Mary Russ-Milligan, and I appeared and spoke on behalf of changing the street name, while members of Mr. Stacy’s family looked on from the audience, and the Ft. Lauderdale city Commission agreed to do so by unanimous vote. Yesterday, that became a reality and a 2 mile stretch of Davie Blvd. now bears the name of “Rubin Stacy Memorial Blvd.” on about 80 signs at the intersections from 441 to I-95.
I want to thank the City of Ft. Lauderdale, Commissioners Sorensen, McKinzie, and the entire Commission and staff for their desire and willingness to demonstrate that as a city, as a community, we can recognize the injustices of our past and do something about it.
I want to thank the members of Rubin Stacy’s extended family, some of whom are here, and many of which have been supportive of moving us all closer to closure on this horrific incident in our collective history. Understanding, as we do in Parkland, the devastating aftereffects of violence effectuated upon families, we need to all appreciate that the ripple effects of terroristic violence can be felt even generations later. It is my hope that this reckoning and understanding helps this family with healing.
I want to thank the members of the Broward County coalition who have been working with me to help make a change, particularly Patricia Cruz, Taneka Lawrence, Diane Cuddihy, Chandra Rudd, Derek Davis, Gene Tinnie, and those mentioned earlier, many of whom continue to actively seek ways to bring us all closer together and strive towards achieving the goal of rooting out racial intolerance and injustice.
I also want to thank the many municipalities and commissioners in this county who sided with Fort Lauderdale’s decision and passed resolutions in their own cities demonstrating their support for the renaming of the roadway and the reasons why. We need community leaders who are willing to speak up and help make a change. Many of them are here today and I thank you.
This is a step in the direction of making change. This is a step in the direction of moving our community to a place where, as Dr. King stated, we are not judged for the color of our skin but by the content of our character. The renaming of this major roadway in our county will long serve as a reminder that we must continue to strive to overcome the scourge of racism and injustice wherever it might occur. Rubin Stacy’s name on these signs, lining the road near where he took his last breath, should be a teachable moment for all who read his name.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Ebanks & Dale Holness.