Florida House of Representatives Apology
Tallahassee, FL (2017)
(Click picture to listen)
Times of Reminiscing
An old friend of mine, nicknamed “Grip,” who resides in Apopka, Florida, introduced me to a group of guys, mostly White, called The White House Boys. After being a member for three years with the group, we still had not been publicly recognized as important members, men from the segregated Black side. What was the problem? With all of the media exposure and attention being drawn to what happened on the Black side of Marianna during the 1940's-1960's, a time of segregation for the Florida School for Boys, a.k.a. Dozier Reform School. A few of the White guys were meeting with the press without mentioning the existence of the Black members.
The Black boys who had access to a computer received an email update every once in a while. To me, something just was not right. In 2010, at the reunion of the White House Boys, I informed my brother, Arthur, about the disturbing feeling I had. We decided we would not return to the group that day.
Early in 2012, I was contacted by a lady named Antoinette Harrell, host of a radio show called Nurturing Our Roots. She introduced herself in a professional manner. She explained to me that my name was given to her by Roger D. Kiser, one of the founders of the White House Boys group. One night, on her live show, we mentioned going back to the Dozier Reform School for a candlelight vigil ceremony in memory of our young brothers who died at Dozier. The idea was rejected by The White House Boys. The next morning, we got a call from the White House Boys threatening if we returned to the campus, we were no longer a part of the group. We were told not to use anything belonging to The White House Boys -- name, flag, or anything else. We were on our own.
Immediately after that conversation, our group, “Black Boys at Dozier Reform School" (BBAD), came into existence. The radio talk show host became our agent for a short period of time and she got us started. Unfortunately, in the end, that relationship did not work out. Antoinette Harrell is no longer affiliated with Black Boys at Dozier Reform School. Furthermore, Antoinette has no legally binding agreements with the organization whatsoever. She disassociated herself from us in writing.
Meanwhile, Johnny Lee Gaddy, a former Black Boys at Dozier Reform School member and one of the authors of Dark Days of Horror at Dozier, on his own volition, resigned his position and membership. Verbally and in writing, he states he no longer wants his name attached to anything pertaining to Black Boys at Dozier.
The remaining Black Boys at Dozier are Arthur L. Huntley of Orlando, Florida, John Bonner of Tampa, Florida, and myself, Richard Huntly of Orlando, Florida, President of the Black Boys at Dozier group. This is the history of how Black Boys at Dozier Reform School was initiated.
The original 5 members
Black Boys at Dozier Reform School
At Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys